Kenya Barris Follows Shonda Rhimes’ Lead, Leaves ABC

by Krystal Franklin

July 29, 2018

Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic for HBO

Shonda Rhimes said goodbye to ABC after 15 years in August 2017 and now, after only four years, Kenya Barris seems to be following suit. In a statement reported by Deadline, the 43-year-old says, “I’m very grateful to Patrick Moran and his team at ABC Studios, who have supported me every step of the way as I created the worlds of black-ish, grown-ish, and nowBesties. It has been an incredible ride including a Peabody and Golden Globe win, Emmy nominations, and many other accolades. But most importantly, they’ve allowed me to realize my dream of creating my own shows and I’m so proud of the work we’ve done together. No matter what, the studio has never wavered in their support of my creative vision. Leaving is bittersweet, but between my series on the air and projects currently in development, I know I’ll continue to work with ABC Studios for a long time.”

While there has yet to be any confirmation on Barris’ Netflix deal, rumors say he’s looking at a nine-figure deal with the streaming platform (Rhimes’ deal reportedly pays her $10 million a year to develop shows and other projects).

Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images

So what does this mean for Blackish and Grownish? No need to worry, Barris will remain as the executive producer on both.

Photo by Erik Tanner/Contour by Getty Images

We’re not incredibly surprised at the news, especially after Barris’ recent remarks about the network hiring Roseanne to the frustration surrounding that missing episode of Blackish ABC refused to air that touched on kneeling during the National Anthem. With a budget of $6 billion solely reserved for original programming, Netflix’s goal is to recruit Hollywood’s elite to make exclusive shows. We’re thinking that’s where Barris’ new Will Smith-produced film, a remake of Uptown Saturday Night starring Kevin Hart will land.

Photo by Jason Kempin/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV

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