‘Black-ish’ Creator Kenya Barris Moves to Netflix in $100 Million Deal

Kenya Barris Headshot (Credit: Megan Miller)

After months of speculation, Black-ish creator Kenya Barris is officially moving to Netflix, the streaming giant announced Thursday.

“Netflix welcomes Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated writer and producer Kenya Barris,” the company said in a press release.

Barris signed a multi-year deal to produce new series at Netflix, starting today, August 16. The company said he’ll enjoy creative freedom under the pact.

“His honesty, comedic brilliance and singular point of view, combined with the creative freedom he will enjoy at Netflix, promises to create powerful new stories for all our members around the world,” stated Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at Netflix.

The agreement is worth about $100 million dollars, sources told Variety. That puts Barris on par with recent Netflix deals inked by Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy.

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Barris, who penned last summer’s hit comedy Girls Trip, will write and executive produce projects for Netflix through his production company, Khalabo Ink Society.

“When my agents reached out to me about this little garage start-up called Netflix, I wasn’t sure what to think,” Barris said sarcastically in a statement. “But after I talked to Ted [Sarandos] and Cindy, I started to believe that maybe this mom-and-pop shop with only 130 million subscribers might just be something.”

In July, the Hollywood producer announced he was ending his longtime partnership with ABC Studios, the network’s production arm, where he created Black-ish, its spinoff Grown-ish and now Besties. He didn’t say where he was going.

Barris was rumored to be unhappy with ABC since March when the network opted not to air an episode of Black-ish about NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem.

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During an industry panel in June, he criticized ABC brass for rebooting Roseanne and giving controversial star Roseanne Barr a platform.

“You hired a monster and then you asked why the monster was killing villagers,” Barris said about Barr’s May tweet disparaging former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett.