Oscars host Chris Rock is talking more about the lack of diversity in Hollywood, criticizing studios who produce Tinsel Town's films. The comedian said that although he tries to give black actresses substantial roles in the films he creates, he often gets push back.
"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," he said in the March issue of Essence magazine.
"Black women are the least represented on-screen. They just are," Rock, 50, added. "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."
Although he didn't address the Oscars diversity issue in the magazine, Rock had already cracked a joke about it. While tweeting a promo for the 88th Academy Awards, which will be broadcast on ABC Feb. 28, he wrote as a caption, "The #Oscars. The White BET Awards."
Rock and other celebrities have spoken out about the lack of diversity in Oscar nominees for the second year in a row, slamming the Academy for being too homogeneous. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith said they would not attend this year's show, as did director Spike Lee.
The comedian also weighed in on Hollywood's gender pay gap, a debate revived by actress Jennifer Lawrence.
"Black women get paid less than everybody in Hollywood. Everybody's talking about Jennifer Lawrence. Talk to Gabrielle Union," Rock told Essence. "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."
As for the Oscars, Rock said he plans to bring his A-game.
"I'm going to do my best," 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."
For fans of the comedian, it may be one of the last high-profile gigs he has left in his career. Rock admitted he's already thinking about retiring.
"I was with [Jerry] Seinfeld the other day. We were like, ‘What we got? Five years? Six years?’ Literally," he admitted. "That's not saying making a living. It's saying, ‘How much longer do you have where people are going to care [about] what you say?’"