Chris Rock's comments supporting Michael Vick seem to have cost him a plum movie role. According to Badrap Blog, via Contactmusic.com, Rock made comments defending Vick on the The Jay Leno Show: "What the hell did Michael Vick do? Pitbulls ain't (sic) even real dogs! Dogs have never been good to black people!" But Rock was up for the lead role in a movie about the life of Richard Pryor, and Pryor's wife Jennifer was not amused. She wrote to Rock:
For your information, Chris, what Michael Vick did was to torture, drown, electrocute and murder dogs all for fun and for profit! He went to prison for felony animal cruelty! That's what he did! . . . These types of comments only encourage abuse and misunderstanding of this breed, as well as actual dog-fighting. Clearly this part of your latest stand-up routine would not make Richard laugh!
Instead, the role reportedly went to Marlon Wayans.
Was Rock's comment so different from others' supporting Vick? Yes. Usually, if people defend Vick, they start by admitting that Vick committed a terrible crime. The disagreement tends to center on whether Vick deserves a second chance at fame and fortune, considering that he served jail time and and says that he regrets his actions. Instead, Rock decided to excuse the crime, and as Pryor's wife points out, making light of Vick's actions make it easier for people to dismiss animal cruelty.
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Doris Lin, Esq. is an animal rights attorney and Director of Legal Affairs for the Animal Protection League of NJ.