Kenya Barris’ controversial Netflix comedy show has reportedly been renewed for an all-new season recently. Kenya Barris is famous for creating the award-winning comedy series ‘Black-ish’.
In ‘#BlackAF’ Kenya Barris plays a fictionalized version of himself along with his wife, Joya, who is played by Rashida Jones as they live in Los Angeles with their children (played by Genneya Walton, Iman Benson, Scarlet Spencer, Justin Clairborne, Ravi Cabot-Conyers, and Richard Gardenshire Jr.) and navigate through social life in Hollywood as “new-money” people. The single-camera shot show had received a lot of flak from both the audience as well as the critics in the first season. The show has received a 46% ratings score on Rotten Tomatoes.
- The controversy surrounding Kenya Barris and the show?
- What has Kenya Barris said to his show’s critics?
- When can we expect the new season to air?
- Who will the show cast in the second season?
The controversy surrounding Kenya Barris and the show?
Kenya Barris is one of Hollywood’s biggest names and someone who reportedly left a massive nine-figure deal with ABC to work with Netflix. His show ‘Black-ish’ was a smash hit and received charming reviews from both fans and critics alike. However, his other show, ‘#BlackAF’, did not garner nearly the same praise that its predecessor had. Kenya had to face a lot of backlash for the first season. Although excited at first, about the return of black sitcoms in mainstream media, many turned doubtful as to whom the show was targeted at. This was because most of the show’s cast was composed of light-skinned or mixed-race Black people, and Kenya was blamed for holding up a particular “aesthetic” for Black people in Hollywood, an industry already claimed by some to be intensely obsessed with the colour of an actor’s skin.
The show’s young actors, Iman Benson and Genneya Walton, on-screen siblings, had been very open about the show’s controversy and promised to bring positive change using their influence and to be an ally to the struggles of the Black people in Hollywood. However, to this allegation, Barris has replied that he chose the cast to reflect his own real-life family and not to make his show more appealing to white audiences.
What has Kenya Barris said to his show’s critics?
After being accused of being self-centred and making two different shows about his own life, and ‘#BlackAF’ being an uninspired copy of his other show ‘Blackish’, Kenya Barris has not held himself back, at all, in replying to his show’s critics.
While agreeing that the two shows have many similarities and are somewhat “polarizing”, he has said the following in response: “The idea that people criticize me for it being so close to black-ish? I’m like, ‘Go f*ck yourself, dude.’ I would do it again. Writers tell their stories in their voices”. He, later on, added that he thinks it is very important for him, as a Black writer in Hollywood, to tell some stories multiple times to highlight the prevalence and significance of Black lives in the social fabric of America; something he believes is overlooked often. He also expressed that writers telling the same stories twice is nothing new in Hollywood, Aaron Sorkin being one to do exactly the same before him. Barris does seem to make sense when he highlights the need to bring forth all facets of Black people’s experiences in the mainstream light, something that shows like ‘Dear White People’, ‘The Chi’, ‘Atlanta’, and his own shows tend to do.
When can we expect the new season to air?
Netflix has not given a confirmed date of release for the second season of ‘#BlackAF’ as of yet. Fans speculate that the new season might not air before April 2021.
Who will the show cast in the second season?
The cast is expected to remain the same, more or less, for the next season with Barris playing himself, Rashida Jones (Joya), Iman Benson, Ravi Cabot-Conyers, Justin Claiborne, Richard Gardenshire Jr., Genneya Walton, and Scarlet Spencer among others.