The man behind TV’s popular comedy series Black-ish is reportedly looking to get out of his contract with ABC, where he’s had ties since 2015.
Kenya Barris, also a writer for the big screen’s Girls Trip, has three years to go on a high-paying deal he agreed to in 2017, but it sounds like he’s open to entertaining other offers.
Sources referenced by The Hollywood Reporter indicate things have been tense between the Emmy award-winning creator and he could be looking for a new home.
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“Talks are very real,” one source is quoted as saying.
Barris has developed multiple projects for ABC but has generated only one additional series pickup—Grown-ish, starring Yara Shahidi on Freeform.
Barris is already doing business with Netflix for a feature film reboot of Shaft starring Samuel L. Jackson.
And Barris is also attached to rewrite a script for a sequel to Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America.
Last month, reports circulated that ABC pulled an episode of Black-ish in which the family discusses athletes’ right to take a knee during the national anthem.
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At the time, ABC cited “creative differences we were unable to resolve.”
Barris at the time responded, “Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it. 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.”
Should Kenya Barris follow Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy over to Netflix, he will probably be looking to secure similar nine-figure mega-deals with the popular streaming service.