Since the cast of Kenya Barris’ new Netflix series, Black Excellence, was revealed online, social media has been in an uproar, accusing the show’s creator and producer of colorism.
A tweet by @StrongBlackLead revealed that the comedy series has “found its family” along with a picture of the main cast. The show stars Rashida Jones and a slew of Black actors and actresses, most of whom could be categorized as “light-skinned.”
Now, folks are not only accusing Barris of colorism but also pointing out he has a history of questionable casting in his previous shows.
kenya barris sure does love a good lightskinned family https://t.co/cuzoFpJ9mL— 🥶🏁 (@eyeamhazzan) December 23, 2019
This Kenya Barris situation doesn't shock me at all. If you assess the past decade alone, the people pushing dark skinned black women to forefront have been black women. Unfortunately most black men who are showrunners & directors maintained the colourism status quo.— TashaSampa 🇬🇧🇿🇲 (@SampaTasha) December 22, 2019
Kenya Barris casts mainly light skinned/mixed women in his work because that's probably his preference in real life. He doesn't have enough insight as a creator to create work beyond his own prejudices and biases #blackish #Mixedish— Nezzy (@Bobby82691031) December 22, 2019
Why Kenya barris gotta base every show on his family, can he come up with sumn else?? Whose the audience, is it only His family watching?? His explanation makes it worse, & the nerve to call it black excellence. I’m sick pic.twitter.com/HNsPklhVGR— a random black girl🤨 (@wadingx) December 22, 2019
According to Kenya Barris they don’t https://t.co/pRCNKkT4t9— Ororo Munroe (@LovesPLH) December 22, 2019
At first, Kenya Barris fired off direct reply tweets to his critics on Twitter, writing, “Guys, this is supposed to be real. What do u think Rashida & I’s kids would look like?” he wrote. “Have you seen MY actual very real and definitely BLACK family? Don’t we have enough hate from others?”
And then he went for the jugular, responding to the criticism and calling out the people making noise for hypocrisy:
Photo: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for REVOLT