‘Black-ish’ Creator Kenya Barris Shares How His Daughter Struggled To Come Out: I Felt Like The Pain & The Weight That She Had To Be Carrying Around
Kenya Barris is well known for centering Black families in his television productions, and he is now sharing a small portion of his own life — and it includes his daughter.
The famed writer and director who serves as the creator behind ABC’s ‘Black-ish‘ recently talked to Charlamagne tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy about his daughter’s decision to come out to him as a lesbian during an appearance on The Breakfast Club. This decision, it seems, lifted a tremendous burden off of her shoulders and even improved her health.
Kenya Barris began by expressing that he had never told anyone about this and that he hoped his daughter would be okay with it.
“It was like the sweetest moment.”
“She had came home … she’s such a sweet kid. And she was away at school and she was struggling, and she doesn’t struggle in school. We went to dinner one night and she came and she was like ‘I think I need to take the semester off.”
The father of six admitted that he wasn’t initially thrilled with the concept and even called it “some white sh*t.”
Kenya Barris continued,
“She takes it off, it was during the pandemic and she starts not feeling well. Her hair is coming out, she is losing weight, and she goes and tests and has a marker for possible autoimmune.”
His daughter was struggling to manage her illness, and in the midst of that, she visited a “friend” from her soccer team — who turned out to be more than that. Thankfully, Barris wasted no time accepting his daughter and letting her know that he loves her no matter what.
“Within two and a half, three weeks, her hair stopped falling out. She started putting back on her weight. … I felt like the pain and the weight that she had to be carrying around in general and in the world. … she blossomed. And it meant so much to me that we could have that conversation.”
Barris and his soon-to-be ex-wife Rania “Rainbow Edwards Barris have been married since 1999 and share six children: Brooklyn, Kass, Beau, Lola, Leyah, and Kaleigh. A divorce between the two is pending, and it appears to be final this time because Barris, whose net worth is estimated to be over $80 million, has already consented to pay spousal support.
Rania “Rainbow Edwards Barris first petitioned for divorce in 2014, but the couple later made amends and she dropped it. Barris also sought a divorce in 2019 before changing his mind, so it’s safe to assume that the world is watching to see if the third time will truly be the charm.
Regardless, Barris‘ heartfelt reaction to his daughter living in her truth makes his decision to include LGBTQ representation in the Wizard of Oz remake all the more special. While speaking about what viewers may anticipate from his upcoming adaption, which Barris hopes will be just as timeless as the original, he said,
“The original was an allegory and a reflection of the way the world was at the time with things like the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.”
“Now we’re going to turn a mirror on where we’re at right now and take disparate characters from the LGBTQ community, from different cultural communities and socioeconomic communities, and tell a story that reflects the world. I think this is the best time to do that.”
Barris‘ remake is still in the early stages of development, but it is expected to be a modern reimagining of the 1939 musical fantasy film.
What are your thoughts on what Kenya Barris shared? Let us know in the comments!