Black-ish creator Kenya Barris is making his directorial debut with the upcoming comedy You People set for release on Netflix Friday, January 27. The film stars Lauren London and Jonah Hill, who co-wrote the screenplay with Barris, as a new couple struggling with each of their parents’ inability to see past their cultural differences. Rounding out the all-star cast are Eddie Murphy and Nia Long, who play London’s pro-Black Muslim parents, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and David Duchovny, Hill’s somewhat culturally aloof Jewish mother and father.
The premise of the film is similar to those we’ve seen with movies like Sidney Poitier‘s 1967 dramedy Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and it’s 2005 remake Guess Who. However upon the release of the trailer, critics drew attention to what they see as another similarity between this project and those previously released by Barris, including his first Netflix series, Black AF, starring Rashida Jones: an “obsession” with biracial or interracial subjects and relationships.
“I feel like it’s insane to be honest with you,” Barris tells ESSENCE when asked about the critique. “I laugh at it. I usually don’t even talk about it. It came from black-ish because I was doing a story about my family and my wife happens to be bi-racial and then the spinoff was grown-ish which was about one of the kids.”
Barris, who also created the black-ish prequel mixed-ish, which lasted two seasons, got his start writing for The Game, Girlfriends, and Soul Food. He also wrote the wildly successful comedy Girls Trip along with Tracy Oliver and co-produced Little.
“I will battle anybody. Show me my Black repertoire of what I’ve done and put it against anybody and I’ll go up against everybody,” Barris adds. “I’m by us for us. I feel like it just happens to sort of be apart of the conversation that people will find anything. We are so monolithic that people want to just have something to say because there’s not enough of us. So hopefully the more we do this, the more stories we can tell. They want all of our stories to be for everyone and that’s impossible. One story can’t speak to all of the Black experiences because there’s so many Black experiences.
Watch the full interview with Kenya Barris and Lauren London in the video above.