According to The Hollywood ReporterKenya Barris, the creator of Black-ish, spoke out about diversity at a Television Critics Association event yesterday [Thursday, August 4]. When asked a question that was aimed at understanding the show’s audience, and whether or not it was primarily African-American viewers, Barris responded by calling the question out.

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He said the question was trying to complicate the discussion on diversity, and that he would rather talk about the talented actors and actresses he has on his show. He wanted the focus to be on the show and what it tries to accomplish, instead of what the racial make-up of its audience is, something that the show has no control over.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, he responded to the reporter saying:


“I will be so happy when diversity is not a word. I have the best job in the world and I am constantly having to talk about diversity. I have the best actors. 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. 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.”

One of the stars of the show, Tracee Ellis Ross, asked the reporter if he investigates the viewership of other shows, and asks them this question, and when he said no, she said, “I think sometimes that those questions continue the conversation in a direction that does not help the conversation.”

Barris wrapped up their response by saying:

“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?”

Hopefully that reporter thinks twice before he asks a leading question like that again.

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