Chris Rock, spewing off in a candid essay that ran in The Hollywood Reporter, called Los Angeles a hypocritical city that passes itself off as liberal while Mexican immigrants are relegated to the basement of the job market and are in essence treated as slaves.
“But forget whether Hollywood is black enough. A better question is: Is Hollywood Mexican enough? You’re in L.A, you’ve got to try not to hire Mexicans,” Rock wrote. “It’s the most liberal town in the world, and there’s a part of it that’s kind of racist – not racist like ‘F--- up, n---‘ racist, but just an acceptance that there’s a slave state in L.A. ”
The comedian and actor called Hollywood “kind of racist” and “a white industry” but said that while black actors struggle to find roles, Hispanics have it far worse.
He said he was tired of “this acceptance that Mexicans are going to take care of white people in L.A.” That mentality, he wrote, exists nowhere else.
“I remember I was renting a house in Beverly Park while doing some movie, and you just see all of the Mexican people at 8 o'clock in the morning in a line driving into Beverly Park like it's General Motors,” Rock wrote. “It's this weird town.”
The 49-year-old pointed out that there is probably a Mexican David Geffen (co-founder of DreamWorks SKG) working in one of the major studios but is ignored by executives because they have a low-level job.
“The odds are that there’s probably a Mexican who’s that smart who’s never going to be given a shot,” he wrote. “The shot is that a Mexican guy or a black guy is qualified to go and give his opinion about how loud the boings are in ‘Dodgeball’ or whether it’s the right shit sound you hear when Jeff Daniels is on the toilet in ‘Dumb and Dumber.’”
The “Madagascar” actor did write that there has been progress in the industry for minorities – including black actors landing regular gigs on “Saturday Night Live” – and he acknowledges that “change just takes time.”
“I don’t think the world expected things to change overnight because Obama got elected president,” he said. “Of course it’s change, though, it’s just changed with kids. And when you’re a kid, you’re not thinking of any of this shit.”
Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, told Fox News Latino on Thursday that he could not be happier that someone with such a high profile like Rock is putting the struggles of the Latino community in the spotlight.
“We have been saying the same thing for years,” he said, adding that he loved that the actor used the word Mexican in his letter because to many executives, “we are all Mexicans.”
“He put it at a low comedic layer that is blunt (and to the point),” Nogales added. “(Latinos) suffer from lack of inclusion, lack of representation… We all have to yell it out.”
Nogales echoed Rock’s belief that for things to change, it starts at the hiring level – from studio executives to those behind the cameras and in front of the cameras.
“We have to get past the good intentions,” he said. “Actors cannot get work without representation.”
At the premiere of his new film “Top Five” on Wednesday night, Rock said he did not see his letter as a courageous act, rather he was stating facts about minorities in the entertainment industry.
"I don't look at it as even being political. I'm just stating the facts. I'm not trying to be political at all, that's (Jon) Stewart, that's (Bill) Maher, that's, you know, not me," Rock told the Associated Press.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.