Kenya Barris gets real.
Amidst the news that ABC had shelved several Black-ish episodes including one about athletes kneeling and another about Donald Trump, reports surfaced that Netflix was attempting to poach the show's creator Kenya Barris from the network. When Barris' shift to Netflix was announced last month, few were surprised to hear of the talented creator's Multimillionaire deal. The motivations behind this bold move have been unclear to date, but Barris has recently offered up some insight. Speaking to the The Hollywood Reporter, Barris revealed the fragile state of his relationship with his former Disney family network, discussed future creative freedoms at Netflix, and shared his views on former network neighbor, Roseanne Barr.
One of the conversation topics was the controversial Black-ish episode that viewers will likely never be able to view titled “Please, Baby, Please.” In the episode Anthony Anderson's character tells his youngest child a bedtime story about the past year's events based on a children's book by legendary director Spike Lee and his wife Tonya Lewis Lee. The book, also titled “Please, Baby, Please,” touched on sensitive issues such as kneeling N.F.L. athletes and the “Unite the Right“ rally in Charlottesville. “We approached it with the network and the studio as, ‘This is different,’” Barris shared. “We certainly knew people would talk about it.” As we now know, ABC pulled the episode from the line-up and will not be releasing it.
Despite being rightfully upset by the move, Barris did not immediately express his desire to leave ABC. But then came the Roseanne scandal. Barris had no interest sharing a network with the bigoted actress. “Because fuck Roseanne," he shared. "She’s a fuckin’ monster. And they were like, ‘Why is this monster killing villagers?’ And I was like, ‘Because that’s what a monster does.’”
Wherever Barris goes, we're sure his talent will continue to make him a creative force.