Chris Rock says black actresses have it tough in show business

Chris Rock attends the premiere of Top Five (AP)
Chris Rock attends the premiere of Top Five (AP)

Los Angeles - Chris Rock thinks black women have the "hardest gig in show business".

The 50-year-old comic insists Jennifer Lawrence - who sparked debate last year when she revealed she was paid less than her male American Hustle co-stars - would "really have something to complain about" if she weren't white, and thinks the Hunger Games actress is in a much better position than other actresses.

In an interview conducted before the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, he told Essence magazine: "I've never done a movie, any movie, the silliest movie, where someone, some studio person hasn't gone, 'Does the girl have to be black?' It happens every time.

"Black women get paid less than everybody in Hollywood. Everybody's talking about Jennifer Lawrence.

"Talk to Gabrielle Union. If you want to hear stories, talk to Nia Long. Talk to Kerry Washington. They would love to get to Jennifer Lawrence's place, or just be treated with the same amount of respect. 

"Black women are the least represented on-screen. They just are. You can go see a lot of movies and there's not one black woman in there with, like, a real part. It's a real, real, real problem.

"Black women have the hardest gig in show business. You hear Jennifer Lawrence complaining about getting paid less because she's a woman - if she was black, she'd really have something to complain about."

Chris - who is expected to address the lack of diversity in nominees while hosting the Academy Awards later this month - also admitted fronting the prestigious ceremony could go ''horribly wrong''.

He said: "It could go horribly wrong.

"Don't ever think that it can't. That's when it goes wrong- when you don't think there's any chance of it going wrong. If you know it won't, it probably won't."

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