‘black-ish’ creator Kenya Barris calls Roseanne Barr a “monster” and talks ABC exit

Barris breaks his silence on scrapped 'Take a Knee' episode of 'black-ish'

 

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.”

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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.”

Tracee Ellis Ross says it’s ‘frightening’ that ABC killed NFL protest episode of ‘Black-ish’

Kenya Barris was also affected by the Roseanne scandal and said he would have left the network if ABC hadn’t immediately cancelled her show after her racist Twitter rant came to light.
“Because fu*k Roseanne,” he says. “She’s a fuc*in’ monster. And they were like, ‘Why is this monster killing villagers?’ And I was like, ‘Because that’s what a monster does.'”
According to Barris, his move to Netflix was highly influenced by Shonda Rhimes, who moved Shondaland to the streaming service with another year left on her ABC contract.
“I’m doing what I’m doing because of her. She’s a black writer but she wrote shows and that opened up the door for the types of things I wanted to do,” he says. “And for someone who was that successful at network TV for that long to make that move [to Netflix] made me understand the atrophy that can happen.”
He also opened up about how much he tried to play the Hollywood game, something he won’t likely have to do now that he landed his overall deal with Netflix.
“I was living so much for the notion of assimilation ’cause you want to be the safe black guy.”
Check out the full article, here.