Black-ish Creator Sued over Show Concept

As the Emmy-nominated series, Black-ish gears up for its third season, controversy surrounds the show’s creator, Kenya Barris.

With its growing accolades, broad viewership and witty sense of humor, Black-ish starring Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, centers on an affluent Black family navigating and raising their children in predominately White spaces. Since its debut in 2014, the sitcom has made its stamp on Wednesday nights with episodes that address race, police brutality and cultural assimilation to name some.

However, the clever concept is now the center of a lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles court, accusing Barris of stealing a former friends idea.

Bryan Barber attended Clark Atlanta with Barris in 1996 and together, they formed a writing partnership. According to the suit, in 2006, Barber came up with a show pitch for VH1 which centered on “the Black experiences as seen through the lens of a successful, creative and affluence Black man working in the predominately white entertainment industry.”

Also stated in the claim, was that the show stemmed from Barber’s life and he had shared, in confidence, his intent to “exploit it commercially” in partnership with Barris.

Welp, VH1 passed on the earlier pitch and now Barber alleges that his former partner cut him out of the revamped idea and sold the concept without his “knowledge or authorization and without providing credit and compensation.”

This may put a slight dent in Barris’ celebration as it was announced last week, that the content creator signed a film deal with 20th Century Fox for feature films through his production company Khalabo Ink Society.