You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Kenya Barris says that 'Netflix became CBS' and wanted 'down the middle' content from him

Business Insider logo Business Insider 6/23/2021 (Travis Clark)
Kenya Barris wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a sign: Barris. Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP © Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Barris. Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
  • Producer Kenya Barris exited his Netflix deal this year for a deal with ViacomCBS' BET Studios.
  • He told The Hollywood Reporter that "Netflix became CBS."
  • "The stuff I want to do is a little bit more edgy, a little more highbrow," he said.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

In 2018, the superstar producer Kenya Barris - creator of ABC's "Black-ish" - signed a lucrative deal with Netflix following other high-profile names like Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes that year. The deal was worth $100 million, Variety reported at the time.

But by October 2020, reports swirled that Barris was eyeing an exit from Netflix for a new deal with ViacomCBS. In January, he was let out of the Netflix partnership, according to a new Hollywood Reporter profile of Barris published on Wednesday, and secured equity in and a board seat on ViacomCBS' new BET Studios.

Barris told THR, "I just don't know that my voice is Netflix's voice."

"The stuff I want to do is a little bit more edgy, a little more highbrow, a little more heady, and I think Netflix wants down the middle," he said. "Netflix became CBS."

Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Barris implied that Netflix executives weren't enthusiastic about his series for the streamer, "#blackAF."

"For Netflix, say we got 35 million viewers, they were like, 'Well, it wasn't 'Fuller House,'" he told THR.

He stressed that there wasn't any "beef" with Netflix, though, just that he wanted to "do in-your-face sh--." He still has content lined up for the streaming giant, including "#blackAF" "vacation films" rather than a previously announced second season of the show.

For BET Studios, he'll be selling content both within and outside of ViacomCBS from people who are underrepresented in Hollywood.

Read the original article on Business Insider

More from Business Insider

Business Insider
Business Insider
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon