Kenya Barris, ‘black-ish’ creator, files for divorce…again. That’s three times since his wife also filed in 2014 

Barris' new filing marks the third time the acclaimed television producer and his doctor spouse have attempted to legally split.

Acclaimed television producer Kenya Barris has filed for divorce again from wife Dr. Rania “Rainbow” Barris. The new filing marks the third time the black-ish creator and his spouse have attempted to legally split, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The Barrises wed in 1999 and have six children together, including four minors — Lola, who’s 16; Beau, 14; 12-year-old Kass, and Bronx, 5. People reports that the couple has been separated since September 2020. 

Kenya Barris (left) and wife Dr. Rania “Rainbow” Barris (right) attend the 2018 Netflix Emmy After-Party at NeueHouse Hollywood in Sept. 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)

The first time the couple attempted to end their marriage was 2014, when Dr. Barris, 47, first filed for divorce. Less than a year later, after the duo reconciled, she reportedly withdrew her request.

In 2019, her husband, also 47, filed for divorce, then called it off.

Barris stated in his June 1 filing at Los Angeles Superior Court that he will pay spousal support to his ex, and he’s requesting joint legal and physical custody of their still-young offspring. 

Barris’ wife was the inspiration for the character Dr. Rainbow Johnson, played by Tracee Ellis Ross on the Emmy Award-nominated black-ish, which ended this year after eight seasons on ABC. The show’s fourth season drew inspiration from the pair’s marital struggles. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dr. Barris revealed that she told her husband, “I think you owe it to your viewers to show this.”

“Because so many of the stories are situations very exact to our life,” she added, “Kenya cannot help as a writer but to make the character of Bow more prominent [and] important.”

About black-ish, Dr. Barris noted, “When you take these real-life situations where life is happening every day, viewers feel like they know this family — because they can say they are this family.”

For his part, Barris has also talked about his marital issues and how they influenced his successful television show, telling EW in 2018: “When I was growing up, I never saw couples fight on the family sitcoms I loved to watch.”

“Subsequently, when tough times arose in my own relationship, I wasn’t prepared and felt so isolated and alone,” he continued. “Marital issues weren’t a part of the narrative that television told me was a ‘working relationship.'”

Barris is currently producing Civil, a Netflix documentary about acclaimed activist attorney Benjamin Crump. He’s also attached to a romantic comedy called You People, and he’s writing and producing a remake of the hit 1992 film, White Men Can’t Jump.

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