Protected: Kenya Barris

Kenya Barris is an award-winning writer, producer, and director whose innovative approach to comedy has firmly cemented his place as one Hollywood’s great modern storytellers. With a focus on socially conscious storytelling that reflects our culture and tackles contemporary issues and themes, Barris’ work has earned him praise for telling poignant, powerful stories that make audiences more aware of the world around them while simultaneously making them laugh. 

Barris is perhaps best known for creating the hit comedy series black-ish, which quickly became a critical and popular success amassing numerous awards and launching two spin-offs, grown-ish and mixed-ish, and a third forthcoming spin-off, oldish. Barris has earned several awards and accolades for his work on black-ish, including a Peabody Award, a Humanitas Prize, and a pair of NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series. 

Barris has not stopped creating television shows, among them the recently-launched Netflix original series #blackAF and the variety sketch series Astronomy Club. Barris has also further expanded his work into features and will release two films in the coming year, Coming to America 2, the highly anticipated sequel to John Landis’ 1980s classic starring Eddie Murphy, and an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches with Robert Zemeckis directing and Octavia Spencer and Anne Hathaway set to star. 

Barris has several highly-anticipated projects in the works, including a feature-length musical about Juneteenth with Pharrell Williams as his partner on the project; Entergalactic, a first-of-its-kind adult animated music series based on Kid Cudi’s upcoming album of the same name; a reboot of the family comedy Cheaper By The Dozen; an animated feature based on the songs of Bob Marley; and a remake of the classic sports comedy White Men Can’t Jump, among others. 

Along with his creative endeavors, Barris is a staunch believer in giving back and knows that with great success comes great responsibility. In 2018, he was honored with the ACLU’s Bill of Rights Award in recognition of his commitment to providing opportunities to young and emerging talent, particularly women and people of color, as well as for the contributions he has made in supporting civil liberties and social justice as a member of the organization’s Board of Trustees.