BIPOC Voices, Black Success, Key Topics

Why Kenya Barris is arguably the hardest working man in showbiz

A full plate.

words by: Kai Acevedo
Mar 19, 2021

Kenya Barris is a very busy man. If there were an actual award for hardest working man in showbiz, he’d be a contender in the category. The acclaimed writer, producer, director and actor has made his presence felt throughout Hollywood by delivering a range of buzzworthy narratives for the big and small screen that speak to different Black experiences.

 

He’s written, produced and created a variety of successful shows and films. His credits include creating TV hits black-ish, BlackAF, Grown-ish, Mixed-ish, America’s Next Top Model and writing and producing on shows like Girlfriends and The Game, and on films like Coming 2 America, Girls Trip and Shaft. Khabako Ink Society, his production company, has struck major deals with Netflix and ViacomCBS.

 

Although the Inglewood, California, native already has a lot on his plate, his lengthy list of upcoming projects just seems to keep on growing. He’s expanding the black-ish franchise with the forthcoming Old-ish, which will star Laurence Fishburne and Jenifer Lewis. Collaborations with musical masterminds Pharrell Williams, Kid Cudi and 50 Cent are in the works. Barris is also set to produce content based on cultural icons Bob Marley, Richard Pryor and Ben Crump. The NAACP Image Awards winner’s collection of projects which are on the way, are in various stages of development. Here’s a look at a few of the highly anticipated projects coming soon from Kenya Barris.

 

Old-ish

What we know so far: The ABC sitcom will star black-ish’s Laurence Fishburne and Jenifer Lewis.

 

Cheaper By the Dozen

What we know so far: Gabrielle Union and Zach Braff will star in Disney Plus’ Cheaper by the Dozen remake.

 

A Bob Marley project

What we know so far: The animated project will take inspiration from the songs of the legendary Bob Marley.

 

White Men Can’t Jump

What we know so far: Rumor has it that the remake of the comedy that starred Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson will feature NBA star Blake Griffin.

 

A Richard Pryor project

What we know so far: Barris is set to make his directorial debut with his project based on the life of one of comedy’s G.O.A.T.s, Richard Pryor.

 

A Ben Crump documentary

What we know so far: The Khabako Ink Society-produced documentary, which will focus on the life and career of famed civil rights attorney, Ben Crump. It will be directed by Nadia Hallgreen. In the past, the filmmaker from the Bronx directed Netflix’s Michelle Obama doc, Becoming.

 

Juneteenth musical

What we know so far: Barris is joining forces with Pharrell Williams to produce a musical inspired by Juneteenth.

 

Photo via Vanity Fair/Awol Erizku