Kenya Barris steps in front of the camera for his new Netflix series #BlackAF.
On Thursday, Netflix dropped the first trailer for the comedy, which like Barris’ ABC sitcom Black-ish, is loosely inspired by his real life.
Here’s the official description: “#BlackAF flips the script on what we’ve come to expect a family comedy series to be. Pulling back the curtain, #BlackAF uncovers the messy, unfiltered, and often hilarious world of what it means to be a ‘new money’ black family trying to get it right in a modern world where ‘right’ is no longer a fixed concept.”
The trailer shows Barris on a video call with fellow African-American creatives Tim Story, Issa Rae, Will Packer, Ava DuVernay, and Lena Waithe as he discusses his new show. They break it to Barris that some of his past work isn’t black enough and “taps into the hearts and minds of 55-year-old white women.” Now Barris is delving deeper into the black experience with #BlackAF.
The series, which had originally been called Black Excellence, stars Barris as a fictionalized version of himself and Rashida Jones (Angie Tribeca) as his wife Joya. The couple’s kids are played by Genneya Walton (Extant), Iman Benson (Suits), Scarlet Spencer (Bright), Justin Claiborne (Reverie), Ravi Cabot-Conyers (Justine, The Resident) and Richard Gardenhire Jr.
As the trailer reveals, the show is framed around a documentary produced by one of Barris’ onscreen daughters. It centers on the family’s new lifestyle while navigating the world outside their home.
In December, Barris responded to critics questioning the casting of the series after some social media users accused him of “colorism,” and said he repeatedly casts biracial women and children in his shows, including Mixed-ish and Grown-ish. Barris fired back in a since-deleted tweet saying, “Colorism is a divisive tool used by the powerful to separate the truly powerful.”
The series marks Barris’ first project in his production deal with Netflix that was announced in August 2018. The single-camera comedy is be produced through his Khalabo Ink Society production company.
In addition to creating and starring in the series, he serves as an executive producer along with Jones and Hale Rothstein (Black-ish, Grown-ish).
#BlackAF launces on Netflix April 17.