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Folks Are Calling Kenya Barris Out For Colorism Over His ‘Black Excellence’ Cast & He Goes On A Tweeting Spree To RESPOND!

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The cast for Kenya Barris’ “Black Excellence” sitcom was just released, and folks are NOT feeling it. The show creator is being dragged for colorism and he’s responding! More inside…

Kenya Barris (above, alongside his real-life family) is being dragged all over for Twitter for colorism. The reason? Well, the cast for his upcoming Netflix comedy series “Black Excellence” was unveiled recently and basically people are tired of dark-skinned actors/actresses not being represented.

”Black Excellence” will star “black-ish” creator Kenya Barris and actress/producer Rashida Jones, along with Genneya Walton (9-1-1, Project Mc²), Iman Benson (Suits, Alexa & Katie), Scarlet Spencer (Cousins for Life, Colony), Justin Claiborne (Marriage Story, Reverie), Ravi Cabot-Conyers (The Resident), and Richard Gardenhire Jr. Also, Kenya and Rashia will executive produce the series.

Netflix’s Strong Black Lead unveiled the cast photo and that’s when all hell broke loose.

Based on the synopsis of the series, it’s giving folks “black-ish” déjà vu. Deadline reports:

Inspired by Barris’ irreverent, highly flawed, unbelievably honest approach to parenting, relationships, race, and culture, #blackexcellence flips the traditional sitcom family on its head. Pulling back the curtain, the series uncovers and explores the messy, unapologetic and often hilarious world of what it means to be a “new money” Black family trying to get it right in a modern world where “right” is no longer a fixed concept.

Sound familiar? "Black Excellence" is supposed to be a reflection of his life, similar to "black-ish."

Once Twitter saw the cast photo, the opinions about the casting started pouring in. Peep a few tweets below:









Kenya Barris - who created "black-ish," "Grown-ish," and "Mixed-ish" - started scrolling Twitter and peeped the backlash. So, he decided to respond:


One person tweeted: "Netflix implemented Strong Black Lead and so far all we’ve got is light-whitewashing (Raising Dion) and the status quo (Light Skin Excellence)"

He responded: "have you seen MY actual very real and definitely BLACK family? Don’t we have enough hate from others?"

Another Twitter user wrote: "She said.. NO DARK SKINS ALLOWED!

He replied: "if u knew me u would know how much that hurts. This BLACK family looks like mine."

Another Twitter questioned the name of the show being titled "Black Excellence," in which he responded, "what'd be a better name? Really interested in ur thoughts on the name of a show you've NEVER seen."

Then he tweeted, "And I’m also not gonna make up a fake family that genetically makes no sense just for the sake of trying to fill quotas. I LOVE MY PEOPLE!"

Another Twitter user tweeted, "The intention was not to hurt your feelings, but the a lot of dark skin black people who are never represented except as ad on characters from 'rough neighborhoods' like in blackish are probably hurting too."

He clapped back, "well that’s not something I’d ever do. I’m also not gonna make up a fake family that genetically our culture and I don’t want them to also see it from US. Trust me Sis, I get your point, I do—in real ways and n roles that show the world the broad spectrum of who we are in REAL ways for EVERYONE 2 c & everything I does reflects that love. But to cast people like some kinda skin color Allstar game would actually do more harm than good. The answer is to make sure we keep making good programming and depict ALL our beauty. But watch the show and listen 2 what it’s about before you prejudge it based on something that is honestly look like my kids. My very Black REAL kids & they face discrimination everyday from others outside our. I really appreciate ur comments & I hardly ever react to social media but this cut me a little. These kids—the only real way I could have cast a show based on who me & my amazing costar could produce"

One Twitter user responded to the cast photo, tweeting, "i’m so glad to see black people putting their foot down on this one. enough is enough. in his 4 shows about blackness this man has only cast dark skinned kids when he needed to portray 'bullies.' let’s silently withdraw support and watch this fail."

Kenya responded: "nice! Rooting 4 the failure of a Black man promoting a Black family because it’s not “black” enough 4 u"

Peep more of his tweets in defense of his new show below (read from the bottom up):


He concluded his Twitter session, "I'm going to say this and then let what happens happen... Colorism is a divisive tool used by the powerful to separate the truly powerful."

While we get he's trying to represent his own family in the series, people feel like it's redundant. "black-ish" is loosely based on his life, so is another comedy series with basically the same plot needed? Let us know your thoughts!

"Black Excellence" will premiere in 2020. Wil you be watching?

Photos: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shuttershock.com

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