Kenya Barris, who created the comedy Black-ish, explains that she walked away from her $ 100 million deal with Netflix due to creative differences.
Blackish Creator Kenya Barris explains why she walked away from her $ 100 million deal with Netflix. Barris is best known as the mastermind behind ABC’s acclaimed sitcom, which spawned the spinoffs. Grown up Y Mixed. He also recently co-wrote the script for the Eddie Murphy sequel. Coming 2 America.
Barris made headlines in August 2018 when he left his general contract with ABC Studios for a deal to produce content exclusively for Netflix. Joining the ranks of Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes, who had also signed with the streaming platform, served as an indication that Netflix was stepping up its efforts to create its own hits by hiring top talent. During his time on the streamer, Barris created and starred in #blackAF, a comedy series also starring Rashida Jones. However, in October 2020, it was reported that Barris was considering an exit from Netflix to partner with ViacomCBS on a new venture. The company would focus on creating a new studio, of which Barris would co-own. In a new interview, Barris reflects on her career and sheds some light on her struggles with Netflix.
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As part of a cover story for THR, the Blackish The creator spoke about why he walked away from his deal with Netflix. Barris refers to differences of opinion about the types of projects Netflix thinks it should be working on. While emphasizing that he is grateful for his experience working with the streamer, Barris also makes it clear that it was not the best environment for him creatively. Barris says in part:
I just don’t know if my voice is the Netflix voice. What I want to do is a little more edgy, a little more intellectual, a little more intoxicating, and I think Netflix wants to be in the middle. Netflix became CBS.
There were a number of issues, specifically, that Barris addresses in more detail in his comments. He notices that while #blackAF garnered a decent audience, often having a hard time coming up with the kinds of ideas that would appeal to Netflix. It is also mentioned that there was an attempt to have Barris serve as a showrunner for one of the streaming service’s multi-camera sitcoms, reportedly the Jamie Foxx series. Dad, stop embarrassing me!, although he refused. Another disagreement arose when Barris pushed for an adaptation of Danny Senna’s novel. New people, which focused on the ideas of racial identity and passing. The idea was eventually considered after an initial rejection, although Barris felt the streamer was simply pursuing a topic that had gained prominence rather than being ahead of the curve. Barris’ comments mean that his overall vision was inconsistent with what Netflix expected him to produce.
Barris will continue to work on the projects that were in development at Netflix prior to the completion of his departure. Those projects include a new version of Meet the parents, which was co-written by Jonah Hill. It also includes a continuation of #blackAF. However, unlike season 2, the sequel will take the form of independent vacation movies.
Overall, it appears that Barris’ creative wishes will be better served by his new venture. In general, memories of the Blackish creator talks about how Netflix has changed as it has become a global streaming service. While you may still approve of riskier stories on the margins, these new revelations illustrate the degree to which the streamer has shifted to emulate the production of traditional television networks and movie studios. In trying to appeal to the widest possible audience, Netflix has also suffered some losses.
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