Friday, December 3, 2021

‘Blackish’ Creator Kenya Barris Plots Exit from ABC After Creative Clashes

kenya barris*“Blackish” creator and “Girls Trip” writer Kenya Barris is reportedly plotting an exit from ABC after recent clashes with the network and is currently being courted by Netflix.

Multiple sources tell THR that Barris is actively trying to get out of his overall deal with ABC Studios. Those same sources say that Barris is in preliminary talks for a mega-deal with Netflix.

“Talks are very real,” says a source of Barris’ potential move to the streaming giant.

Barris earned a Peabody and two best comedy Emmy nominations for “Blackish,” and he reportedly has three years remaining on a four-year deal he signed in 2017.

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2018 image awards - black-ish cast
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock (9322226h)
The cast and crew of “black-ish” accept the award for outstanding comedy series at the 49th annual NAACP Image Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, in Pasadena, Calif. Pictured from left are Laurence Fishburne, Anthony Anderson, Jeff Mecham, Jenifer Lewis, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kenya Barris, Yara Shahidi, Miles Brown, Peter Mackenzie, Marsai Martin, and Marcus Scribner
APTOPIX 49th Annual NAACP Image Awards – Show, Pasadena, USA – 15 Jan 2018

Last month, ABC pulled the plug on a politically themed episode of “Blackish” following creative differences between Barris and the network. ABC called the decision a mutual one, though sources say otherwise, according to the report. In the episode, feature star Anthony Anderson’s Dre expressed his concerns about the current stage of the country to his son.

“Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it,” Barris said at the time. “Black-ish is a show that has spoken to all different types of people and brought them closer as a community and I’m so proud of the series.”

“Black-ish” has yet to be renewed for a fifth season.

Barris has developed multiple projects for ABC but landed only one series pickup: spinoff “Grown-ish,” which was originally developed for ABC but was moved to Freeform (where it was renewed for a second season).

Should Barris sign a deal with Netflix, he would join Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, both inked nine-figure deals with the streamer, exiting their longtime homes at ABC Studios and 20th Century Fox Television, respectively, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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