Kenya Barris On Why ‘Black-Ish’ Shelved Episode: “Was Not A True Representation Of What We Intended To Do”

For the latest cover of The Hollywood Reporter, Black-ish’s Kenya Barris takes front and center. As you should know, Kenya recently signed a mega-deal with the streaming network Netflix to produce a line-up of new content. Most notably, Barris had people talking this year when it was revealed that ABC would not move forward with an episode of ‘Black-Ish’ that focused on the current racial climate of the country. In his talk with THR, we finally get hear from Barris on why the decision to not air the episode entitled, “Please, Baby, Please” was made.

At ABC’s urging, Barris had his editor test a few of the suggested cuts — but it wasn’t as easy as a nip here or a tuck there, and the sheer tonnage of anti-Trump material rippling through the episode ultimately made the exercise futile. Barris hated what came back. “What it ended up being, and I think the network would agree, was not a true representation of what we intended to do,” he says. “Because if it was, we would’ve shown it.” Unable to reach a compromise, they collectively decided to scrap it. Not long after, Barris and his team would begin conversations with those same executives about being let out of his four-year contract, which he’d entered into only a year earlier.


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