Chris Rock, an actor and comedian who is known for making racial jokes, recently sparked what has become a heated two-day debate on his Facebook page due to a provocative post he made about the Fourth of July holiday.
More than 2,660 comments, some containing racial slurs, have been posted following the black entertainer's message, which was published on July 4 at 6:39 a.m. and read: "Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren't free but I'm sure they enjoyed fireworks. (sic)"
"Boy did this start a conversation about race on my page," Julie McLaughlin McCann wrote on Friday afternoon. "Thanks for the provocative comment, Chris. Keep speaking your truth!"
Within 10 minutes, Rock's Facebook post had received more than 250 comments. More than 50 percent of them were positive or contained expressions of laughter, such as "LOL."
"I couldn't have said it better myself," said Facebook user Monti Burnett. "Thank you CR for your timely words."
About 20 percent of the responses posted within 10 minutes after Rock's initial comment were negative. The rest of the reactions were neutral.
"Wow what a racist and ignorant post," said user Luke Solis.
Others were so offended by Rock's comment that they said they would stop following his Facebook page."Im not gonna b ignorant im just gonna delete you...(sic)" said user Francine Cody, while Meredith Paige wrote: "I am unliking your page ASAP.
Many defended Rock, saying that his fans should not be surprised by his remarks, his given the nature of his standup comedy jokes.
"I like how people are disappointed by this comment," user Eric Strable wrote. "A. it's true. B. Have they never seen Chris Rock stand up before? He isn't exactly PC."
Rock's message was also posted on his Twitter page. In addition to the online responses, more than 17,550 people "liked" his comment on Facebook and some 1,690 people shared it with their friends. His post was reTweeted on Twitter more than 11,742 times and marked as a "favorite" Tweet more than 2,212 times.
Rock has not posted a follow-up message but has used his social networking pages to promote his upcoming comedy movie, "2 Days in New York," which is availabe to purchased on-demand and on iTunes as of Friday. He plays a man with a white girlfriend, portrayed by Julie Delpy of "Before Sunrise," who must deal with a visit from her quirky family members.
He is currently shooting the comedy film "Grown Ups 2" with fellow returning stars Adam Sandler, Salma Hayek, Kevin James, David Spade and Steve Buscemi. The movie is set for release in 2013.
In June 2011, Rock defended another standup comedian who was criticized over public remarks - Tracy Morgan. The comic and "30 Rock" actor had unleashed an anti-gay rant on stage during a show and later apologized.
(Pictured above: Chris Rock appears in a scene from the 2012 movie "2 Days In New York.")