Kenya Barris Settle “Black-Ish” Lawsuit
It’s official – black-ish executive producer, Kenya Barris, will not be going to trial regarding a recent lawsuit filed against him. According to court documents, the $1 million dollar lawsuit filed in 2016 by his former writing partner/famed music video director, Bryan Barber, alleged that Kenya stole the idea for Emmy-nominated show, black-ish. Court was scheduled to begin on June 11th, but the parties settled the year long dispute. Los Angeles Superior Court documents read:
“The entire case is settled…A request for dismissal will be filed within 45 days after the settlement.”
Barris and Barber made an agreement in 2006 that any projects modeled after the original scripts they wrote together, would be produced together. Bryan says black-ish is the result of a project he and Kenya worked on for VH1 over a decade ago. Bryan’s original court documented complaint reads:
Both works conclude with the protagonist overcoming challenges with race relations, adapting to his professional environment, and coming to terms with his ‘blackish’-ness.
As we previously reported, Barris’ attorneys pursued having the suit thrown out, but was denied by the judge due to the similarities in the two shows. The similarities included the main character, Dre, working in the urban department of a media company, and his wife being a doctor.
Whether or not Barris will continue to work with ABC or black-ish is still unknown. The show was renewed for its fifth season last month.