*As you probably know, Kenya Barrish, the man behind ABC’s super huge hit show “Black-ish” is really inclined to push the cultural envelope, but he may have gone too far with his new creation, #blackAF on Netflix.
The show has sparked complaints from some viewers about “colorism” and “stereotypes.” With that in mind, Barrish, who also stars on the show as well, spoke on the backlash this earlier week with Tip “T.I.” Harris’ expediTIously podcast.
“People have called me and told me ‘this is my favorite show,’ people have called me and said, ‘I hate this,’” he explained, admitting the show is polarizing to some.
Because of his obvious tendency to cast biracial actors, T.I. asked Barris why he thinks fans responded negatively to Rashida Jones playing his wife on #blackAF.
“She’s the only person I ever wanted to do that role,” Barris said. “I feel like she’s done a pitch-perfect job.”
He added that the series is autobiographical, and Jones is portraying his now-estranged real-life wife.
“She’s playing a version of my wife, who is biracial,” he said. “My kids, that Rashida and I could produce, look like those kids, who are amazing.”
You probably won’t be surprised to learn the issue of his bi-racial casting has come up before. In fact, he addressed the complaints in a now-deleted tweet prior to the series debut. In his interview with T.I. he went on to ask viewers to have an open mind.
“I think we just need to inform ourselves a little bit more,” he said. “Everyone’s experience and everyone’s opinion in terms of colorism are real. And I understand that. But If you just dug just a little bit under the surface you will understand that this was based upon, it is biographical, and I was trying to duplicate a version of what my family was.”
Barris says he has no problem with folks that don’t agree with his vision for the show, but straight up says some of the criticism is “ignorant.”
“Ignorant, I have a problem with. But I take the opinion of the good and the bad. Because if you’re going to listen to any of them, you gotta listen to all of them,” he added.