Netflix has pulled off another coup by tying the award-winning creator of black-ish to a multi-year deal in which he will create series’ exclusively for the platform. Under the deal, Barris will write and executive produce all projects through his production company, Khalabo Ink Society.
Over recent months, Netflix has made a conscious effort to diversify its content, stocking its digital shelves with foreign-language films and shows, including the well-received Indian Original Series, Sacred Games.
Barris writes in English, but he brings to the screen an authentic perspective on the black experience that is sorely lacking in mainstream media. His hiring, to take the cynical view, represents another prong of the fork that Netflix keeps plunging into the global media pie. But it’ll likely result in great television all the same.
As the creator of the hit, Peabody award-winning comedy series black-ish, along with its successful spin-off series Grown-ish, and the writer of last summer’s comedy blockbuster Girls Trip, Barris has continually demonstrated his ability to tell stories about the Black experience that resonate with all audiences. With an innate sense for what is funny, truthful and timely, Barris will continue to create stories that reflect culture through an urban, youth and female-focused lens.
“Kenya Barris is one of our great modern storytellers,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content at Netflix. “Kenya uses his voice to make audiences more aware of the world around them, while simultaneously making them laugh. 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.”
“When my agents reached out to me about this little garage start-up called Netflix, I wasn’t sure what to think,” said Barris. “But after I talked to Ted and Cindy, I started to believe that maybe this mom-and-pop shop with only 130 million subscribers might just be something… so I decided to take a swing… a leap of faith if you will, and take a chance with the new kids on the block.”
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.