‘Black-ish’ Creator Kenya Barris: ‘I’m Tired Of Talking About Diversity’
Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Peabody

Yesterday, during the Black-ish panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, show creator Kenya Barris told the audience he was tired of talking about diversity after a reporter being asked about the diversity of the show’s audience, THR reported. 

“I will be so happy when diversity is not a word,” he said. “I have the best job in the world and I am constantly having to talk about diversity. It’s ridiculous. We’re in a time when everything is about black and white, and this and that. We get opportunities and we are happy to be the people who can step up and say, ‘We can do this.’ But these are amazing actors. It doesn’t matter who is watching our show. The fact is that they’re watching it.”

Barris added that the constant questioning of the diversity in the show is taking away from the talented people behind it. “I feel like every question at every panel…I’m so tired of talking about diversity. These are amazing, talented actors and amazing writers who give their all…and it’s clouding the conversation.”

Tracee Ellis Ross, who plays family matriarch Rainbow Johnson, came to Barris’ defense by asking, “Is that a question that you’ve asked other shows that are not predominantly of a certain color?” When the writer responded “not necessarily,” Ellis added, “I think sometimes that those questions continue the conversation in a direction that does not help the conversation.”

Barris also emphasized that the show isn’t just about race, and at the end of the day is a family sitcom. 

“We’re so divisive as a community and we always have to box everything in, and I kind of feel like, isn’t it just a good family show? It’s specifically about a black family, but don’t you see yourself in it? Don’t you see your family reflected in it? Why is that important who watches the show? Why does it matter? Why do we have to keep having these conversations? Why can’t we just look at the show for what it is and celebrate these actors?”


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