(NEW YORK) — Chris Rock’s July Fourth tweet has some people in a decidedly non-festive mood. On Wednesday, the comedian tweeted, “Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks.”
The backlash ignited faster than San Diego’s botched fireworks show. One follower told Rock, “No more of your movies anymore.” Others said Independence Day paved the way for abolition, and many fell back on four letter words.
Some of Rock’s famous friends came to his defense. The actor Don Cheadle tweeted, “Chris Rock was making a joke … If you don’t think it’s funny. ok. But keep it in perspective.”
In a statement to the Huffington Post, Elon James White, star of the web show This Week in Blackness, called the criticism “absolutely ridiculous.” “[P]art of being American, to me,” he added, “is that I have to acknowledge all the bulls**t that comes with it.”
Rock’s rep did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Eric Levenson, CNN
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com