Kenya Barris is finally speaking out about his exit from ABC and his move to Netflix in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
The black-ish creator revealed that ABC’s decision to pull an episode of the hit series that focused on the Take a Knee movement prompted his departure.
“I don’t know that I would have been as useful to them as they’d need me to be after that,” he said of the move that Tracee Ellis Ross called “frightening.”
Barris seems to have love for ABC’s president, Channing Dungey and respects how ABC Studios chief Patrick Moran handled the situation
“I know there was some concern about partisanship…and the way the episode was angled and the balance in terms of some of the stories. On network TV, one of the things I’ve learned is that you have to talk about things from both sides,” Barris explains. “The boss doesn’t have to explain himself, but he explained enough — and he [did so] in a way that really gave light in a different way. And more than that, he spoke to me as a person.”
However, it’s clear he wasn’t as impressed with the way Disney executive, Ben Sherwood, dealt with the drama.
“The way that [Ben] chose to deal with me in this particular episode, I felt a way about it and I still do. He’d make it seem like it was an open environment but really it wasn’t, and those are things I see very clearly. Everyone wants to say it’s open arms, but just tell me it’s not and I’ll respect you more.”
Now that he has nabbed an eight-figure deal with Netflix, he’s looking forward to showing the world what’s on his mind with a string of new content on streaming service.
“If I was going to step out, I wanted to do something where I could take off all the straps and really hang out of the plane,” says Barris. “I want to be Netflix with attitude — loud, bold and unapologetic.”