black-ish creator Kenya Barris’ days before Christmas are being spent getting dragged on social media as he tries to defend his upcoming Netflix show, #blackexcellence, starring Barris and Rashida Jones.

When Netflix’s Strong Black Lead released the first image of the cast of Barris’ new show, fans and casual viewers of Barris’ work unleashed a tidal wave of criticism. Much of the criticism focused on #blackexcellence being yet another Barris show that features a predominately lighter-skinned cast. Barris has been critiqued in the past for seemingly catering to colorist casting in his other shows, but with the sheer volume of responses Barris has received over #blackexcellence, it would appear that this show is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The wealth of responses might also be due to the fact that #blackexcellence is billed as a show based on Barris’ real-life family. black-ish was also said to be based on his family, down to Tracee Ellis Ross’ character sharing the same name as Barris’ wife. While he might be able to use his family as an excuse for his casting practices on black-ish and #blackexcellence, the same can’t be said for grown-ish, which inexplicably has a majority lighter-skinned cast despite the show taking place at a diverse university.

Barris responded on Twitter, but it has only made the criticism worse. He wrote that the show is meant to reflect his real-life family and is intended to be a genetically accurate portrayal.

Twitter lit into Barris after his tweets.

Social media also schooled Barris after he chastised a woman for voicing her opinion about #blackexcellence.

People accused Barris of gaslighting individuals who have legitimate worries about colorism in his productions.

The conversation on Twitter is ongoing. People are on Barris’ neck and the pushback doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon.


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Photo: Netflix

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