Kenya Barris Responds To Criticism Over His Show’s Light-Skinned Cast: “What Do You Think Rashida Jones & I’s Kids Would Look Like?”
Kenya Barris is the brains behind some of television’s most popular sitcoms and films in recent years – including “Black-Ish” and all of its spin-offs, “The Game,” and “Girls Trip.” Most of these incredible works are based directly on his life story, even down to Tracee Ellis Ross‘ character’s name, Rainbow. His estranged wife has the same name!
However, Kenya Barris recently received backlash for the announcement of his upcoming Netflix project, “Black Excellence.” Netflix tweeted this announcement:
“Kenya Barris’ first @Netflix comedy, #blackexcellence, has found its family.
Introducing: Genneya Walton, Iman Benson, Scarlet Spencer, Justin Clairborne, Ravi Cabot-Conyers, and Richard Gardenhire Jr.
Twitter user @JoePGould replied with this objection:
“@JoePGould Kenya Barris gotta stop putting “black” on stuff if he’s just gonna use light-skinned and mixed-race black people.”
Kenya responded, pointing out that anything other than the light mocha-hued children casted for the show would be unrealistic. He said:
“@funnyblackdude -Guys, this is supposed to be real. What do u think Rashida & I’s kids would look like?”
Here are a few of the responses to Kenya Barris’ call for realism:
*light bulb* you do know that you can make a show about a non-mixed black man who's married to a non-mixed black woman…right? like who's demanding that you and Rashida be the leads?
— Cal Frost (@classiegregious) December 22, 2019
You had a running title called "Black Excellence" and it made sense to cast Rashida Jones? pic.twitter.com/ZeV7xezvQW
— TDAY01 (@tamcan1) December 22, 2019
We are all aware as black people that SOME black families do actually look like this. But, it's the pattern when all black characters on all of your shows are pretty much just light. That is why people are reacting to this. (2)
— Wakanda Shit Is That? (@unemployedfatty) December 22, 2019
What do you think of the fair skinned cast of “Black Excellence?” Let us know in the comments.
Written by Miata Shanay