The upcoming Netflix series from Kenya Barris, in which he stars with Rashida Jones, has rounded out its cast! Jones also produces the series, which is under Barris’ overall deal at the streaming giant.

Shadow And Act has learned that six young up-and-comers: Genneya Walton, Iman Benson, Scarlet Spencer, Justin Claiborne, Ravi Cabot-Conyers and Richard Gardenhire Jr., have been cast as the duo’s on-screen children in #blackexcellence. The series, inspired by Barris’ irreverent, highly flawed, unbelievably honest approach to parenting, relationships, race, and culture, is said to flip the traditional sitcom family on its head.

According to Netflix, the single-camera comedy will “pull back the curtain,” uncovering and exploring “the messy, unapologetic and often hilarious world of what it means to be a ‘new money’ Black family trying to get it right in a modern world where ‘right’ is no longer a fixed concept.”

Barris will play Kenya Barris, a heightened version of himself: A brash, unapologetic, overly opinionated, borderline sociopathic, giant teddy bear with a heart of gold.  His absurd amalgamation of personality traits masks a shocking layer of perceptiveness that has allowed him to make an OK living. 

Jones will play Joya Barris: Confident, hard-working and even harder playing, successful at everything she’s ever tried, a pit bull in a skirt, who’s left the courtroom behind and she is now using that same tenacity to be a stay at home mom. She’s the yin to Kenya’s yang, never pulling any punches, always calling him out on his nonsense while delivering plenty of her own. 

Walton will play Chloe Barris:  Chloe is 18 and the effortlessly popular, under appreciative college student with an astounding level of entitlement. Her ditziness often masks her potential.

Benson will play Drea Barris: Drea is 17 and she is the moral center and narrator of our show. An artistic savant and second oldest child, she’s by far the most mature person in the whole Barris household. 

Spencer will play Izzy Barris:  Izzy is 12 and difficult for difficulty’s sake, she’s a pain-in-the-ass contrarian whose lack of caring only makes people want to mess with her more. She’s a cat, not a dog, a tomboy who’s also the leader of the mean girls. 

Claiborne will play Pops Barris: Pops is 10 and as lovable as he is gullible.  He’s got a gooey inside which is protected by his gummy outside.  He is a big-hearted, soft-souled kid who literally skips through the world with a zippity doo dah whistle.

Cabot-Conyers will play Kam Barris: Kam is 8 and a miscreant trouble maker and a pathological liar with the best laugh you’ve ever heard and a grin that lets him get away with anything. 

Gardenhire Jr. will play Brooklyn Barris in a recurring role:  Brooklyn is 3 and he’s jarringly smart and well-spoken for a toddler. 

The series will premiere on Netflix in 2020.


Kenya Barris And Rashida Jones To Star In And Produce Netflix Comedy Series, ‘Black Excellence’

Photo: Netflix

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