AceShowbiz - Kenya Barris has parted ways with Netflix. Confirming that he walked away from a $100 million deal with the streaming giant, the "Black-ish" creator explained the reason behind his decision.
The 46-year-old film and television writer offered his two cents in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I think a lot of people thought I got fired or I quit, like 'f**k this,' over some kind of beef with Netflix," he first shared.
"I want to do in-your-face s**t," the showrunner pointed out. "I want to sell to everybody - and if you don't want to work with me, I'm not saying that you're racist, but other people might."
"I just don't know that my voice is Netflix's voice," he added. "The stuff I want to do is a little bit more edgy, a little more highbrow, a little more heady, and I think Netflix wants down the middle... Netflix became CBS."
Kenya, who signed the lucrative deal with Netflix in 2018, implied that the streamers' bosses weren't enthusiastic about his semi-autobiographical comedy, "#BlackAF". He stated, "For Netflix, say we got 35 million viewers, they were like, 'Well, it wasn't 'Fuller House'. "
Kenya admitted to feeling "f**king terrified" of telling Netflix that he wanted to get out of the deal. "[Ted Sarandos] had come and saved me with a beyond-generous offer and he let me act, and I'm not an actor, in a show that wasn't their cup of tea," he elaborated.
"And they paid a ton of money for that show, they let me put on Deon Cole's special and an experimental sketch comedy show ['Astronomy Club']. They gave me beautiful offices and they never knocked on my door and asked what I was doing. I was like, 'Is this the definition of ungrateful?' " he reflected. Luckily, Kenya said that Ted could understand his decision.
Rumors about Kenya leaving his Netflix deal first emerged in October 2020. He, however, officially ended the partnership in January. He is now teaming up with ViacomCBS and gearing up to launch his BET Studios.