When it comes to sticking up for what’s right, Chris Rock is not afraid to leave some people behind.
Rock joined fellow actor Nicole Kidman for Variety’s “Actors on Actors” special where actors sit down and interview each other. In the conversation, Rock admitted to having to fire people because of their lack of respect for women of authority.
He said, “I’ve fired people because they couldn’t listen to a woman. I was like, ‘How come he’s not doing …?’ And then I realize, ‘Oh.’ ” Prior to making that comment, Rock and Kidman were discussing her upcoming role in Amazon Studios’s “Being the Ricardos,” where she will play actress Lucille Ball. The film will take a deep dive into Lucy and her and marriage to her Cuban husband, Desi Arnaz.
After singing Ball’s praises, Rock discussed the difficulty women in the 1950s may have faced trying to gain respect and recognition.“Let’s not downplay the fact how hard it must’ve been to be a woman at that time going through, you know, just like, “I’m the boss. Not him. I’m the boss.”
The comedian later addressed why it hasn’t been as difficult for him as a man to be able to take direction from women. Rock gave credit to the women in his circle and specifically stated that it helped that he had a good bond with his mother. He said, “Relationship’s great with her. And maybe it’s a Black thing or whatever. If you’re confident in front of me, I’m just attracted to good. I’m a “good” snob. If you’re good, I like you. And I’ll listen to you.”
He also mentioned that when he first got into the comedy business, many of the comedy clubs were actually run by women. “When I was starting out as a comedian, you know, Joy Behar and Susie Essman took me under their wing,” he said. “I just always was around these powerful women. I mean, even in comedy, the clubs were run by women.”
The 56-year-old added, “Everybody talks about how stand-up is a boys’ club, but stand-up’s been run by a lot of women for a lot of years.”
For years, women in comedy have been working to earn a spot in the male-dominated industry. In April an FX documentary called “Hysterical” opened a lens into the behind-the-scenes world of some of the most well-known female comedians. Some women who are featured in the documentary are Sherri Shepherd and Marina Franklin.