Kenya Barris leaves ABC Studios
Producer and showrunner behind shows such as ABC's critically-acclaimed comedy "Black-ish" and his spin-off "Grown-ish" at Freeform will leave the studio in August. Barris also has the recently ordered freeform comedy "Besties" in the studio, though a spokesperson for the studio said Barris will remain an executive producer on all his shows.
Kenny Smith will now join longtime co-showrunner Jonathan Groff "Black-ish" is undergoing a day-to-day operation and Julie Bean will continue to act as a showrunner for "Grown-ish". Groff, Smith and Bean all have a deal with ABC Studios.
Barris & # 39; s current deal with ABC Studios should not expire by 2021
"I'm very grateful to Patrick Moran and his team at ABC Studios, who helped me every step of the way as I grew up in the worlds of & # 39; black-ish, & # 39; & # 39 ;, and now & # 39; Besties & # 39 ;, said Barris in a statement, "It was an incredible ride with a Peabody and Golden Globe win, Emmy nominations and many other awards. But above all, they have allowed me to realize my dream of making my own shows, and I am so proud of the work we have done together. Whatever, the studio never wavered to support my creative vision. Leaving is bittersweet, but I know that I will continue to work with ABC Studios between my airborne series and projects currently under development.
Barris's relationship with ABC began to show signs of tension in March when Variety reported that the network was indefinitely an episode of "Black-ish," which he wrote and staged Time reset: "Please, Baby, Please," the current events, including controversies about athletes kneeling touched during the performances of the national anthem. Barris at the time told Variety : "Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were satisfied with the direction of the episode and agreed not to distribute it."
A month later, reports surfaced Barris was courted by Netflix for a full contract. The streaming service launched prominent show runners last year and signed nine-figure deals with Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes.
But Barris' ABC deal complicated the jump into another studio home. The producer recently signed a new agreement, one that ran until 2021. Barris was unable to move to Netflix or any other studio house without first negotiating a withdrawal from ABC.
Netflix Rejected Comment on Barris Friday
More recently, "Black-ish" has been the subject of much controversy over allegations of sexual coercion against co-author and star Anthony Anderson, who is currently under criminal investigation by the LAPD. Anderson has denied allegations against him and sources tell Variety that production on the new Black-ish season is moving forward as planned.