Kenya Barris Exits Overall Deal with ABC Studios Early, Eyes Multi-Million Deal with Netflix

Black-ish creator Kenya Barris is exiting his overall deal with ABC Studios a little over one year into his four year deal.

According to Deadline, Barris’ overall deal with ABC Studios will terminate in August. He will remain an executive producer on all of his shows, black-ish on ABC; grown-ish and the upcoming Besties on Freeform, and will continue to work on the ABC Studios projects he has in development.

“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 now Besties,” said Barris in a statement.

“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.”

It’s been speculated that Barris was attempting to leave his deal with ABC Studios since they pulled an episode of black-ish that would tackle NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

“Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it,” Barris said at the time.

Barris is reportedly following in the footsteps of ABC’s most prolific drama creator Shonda Rhimes, who left ABC for a $150 million deal with Netflix.

According to multiple reports, Barris is also looking at nine-figure deal with the streaming service.

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Bryant Lydell

Bryant Lydell is creative, personable and quick-witted Howard and USC alum. He's the founder of The Top Tea, a songwriter, screenwriter and member of the casting team for Netflix's NAACP Image Award-winning hip-hop competition series Rhythm + Flow.

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