Kenya Barris speaks on divorce: ‘It’s the toughest thing’

The 'BlackAF' creator says that dealing with his divorce in the public eye is 'a different world than I ever expected.'

Kenya Barris is known for using his own life as source material for his hit shows like black-ish and BlackAF. While viewers have watched as the fictitious versions of him navigate the harsh realities of marriage, the content creator opened up about his real-life divorce during a conversation with T.I. on his podcast, expediTIously.

“I’m going through a divorce right now. Who knows what’s going to happen with that,” he said.

“It is part of life. When I was growing up, we didn’t have—I never saw Cliff and Clair [Huxtable] argue. If you look at sitcoms and our stories, we’re supposed to be okay. But 52 percent of marriages don’t work.”

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According to Barris, Black families can learn from the stories he tells from his real life.

“We didn’t know about therapy or really understand it,” he continued. “We didn’t know about really having the church or other married friends that would have given us the skeleton to make it in another sort of way. So I feel like talking about that to a generation of people who might be going through what I’m going through, it makes them say, ‘Hey, there’s other people out there like me. Maybe we can make it. Maybe we can’t.’ I just want to be as real with my sh*t as possible.”

Producer Kenya Barris (L) and Rainbow Edwards-Barris (R) attend the screening of "If Beale Street Could Talk" at the ArcLight Hollywood on December 04, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
Producer Kenya Barris (L) and Rainbow Edwards-Barris (R) attend the screening of “If Beale Street Could Talk” at the ArcLight Hollywood on December 04, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

“It is the toughest thing I’ve ever been through in my life,” Barris added.

The father of six also revealed that news of his split from Dr. Raina Edwards-Barris broke on his birthday.

READ MORE: ‘#blackAF’ review: Kenya Barris is done appeasing the masses

“Somehow, some f*cked up way, it got announced on my birthday. I didn’t file on my birthday but it got announced on my birthday,” he said. “I don’t know that people care about me getting divorced. I’m not anybody, especially at that point. And all of a sudden it’s in the papers as I’m getting off the plane coming from Atlanta. I have my wife calling me. I have my daughter, who’s a sophomore at USC, calling me. I have my daughter, who’s a senior in high school, calling me because her friends are talking about it.”

He concluded, “It’s a different world than I ever expected and I’m trying to experience it with the audience in real-time. This is all happening to me as it’s happening on air.”