Kenya Barris Sued for $1,000,000 Over Credit for Black-ish

The Root Staff
Kenya Barris
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Kenya Barris, creator of our favorite primetime sitcom, Black-ish, has been sued for $1 million by a former collaborator, a director who says he stole the show idea from him, Deadline reports.

Music video director Bryan Barber, who helmed the 2006 film Idlewild, says he met Barris at Clark Atlanta University in 1996 and formed a partnership with him 10 years later, according to the New York Daily News. Barber claims says that the showrunner “hijacked” a script that was based on Barber’s life.


Based on that script, he alleges, Barris wrote, developed and shopped the Black-ish pilot behind his back between the end of 2006 and September 2014.

Barber’s suit goes on to name similarities in his untitled script and Black-ish, including the primary character’s wife being named “Rainbow” and being called “Bow.” “Both works conclude with the protagonist overcoming challenges with race relations, adapting to his professional environment, and coming to terms with his ‘blackish-ness,’” the complaint asserts.

Larry Wilmore’s Wilmore Films, Principato-Young Entertainment and Cinema Gypsy Productions are also named as defendants in the suit.

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