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‘I Love My People’: Kenya Barris Responds to Backlash of Not Including Dark-Skinned People in His Shows After Sharing Photo of New Project’s Cast

Kenya Barris shared a promotional photo for his new Netflix show “Black Excellence” and was quickly accused of promoting colorism, which he responded to.

The show is being called a family sitcom, and Barris will star as the dad, while Quincy Jones‘ daughter Rashida Jones will play the mom. The promo shot also shows the children who’ve been cast, and after people saw it many said there aren’t enough dark-skinned people represented.

Kenya Barris issued a response after he was accused of promoting colorism. (Photo: Christian Alminana / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

Barris has been accused of promoting colorism in the past as well, both on his shows “Black-ish” and its spinoff “Mixed-ish.”

“ANOTHER Kenya Barris show where there are mainly lighter skinned black people in it,” someone tweeted.

“Kenya Barris gotta stop putting ‘black’ on stuff if he’s just gonna use light-skinned and mixed-race black people,” wrote another.

The 45-year-old writer responded on Saturday, Dec. 21, and defended the casting decision.

@Strong Black Lead Twitter

“Guys, this is supposed to be real,” he tweeted. “What do u think Rashida & I’s kids would look like? Have you seen MY actual very real and definitely BLACK family? Don’t we have enough hate from others?”

“And I’m also not gonna make up a fake family that genetically makes no sense just for the sake of trying to fill quotas. I LOVE MY PEOPLE,” added Barris.

“I’m going to say this and then let what happens happen,” he continued. “Colorism is a divisive tool used by the powerful to separate the truly powerful … If u knew me u would know how much that hurts. This BLACK family looks like mine.”

@funnyblackdude Twitter

Some accepted Barris’ explanation, while others seemed to be more offended afterwards.

“Dark skin people in family friendly shows are underrepresented, it’s your job to give them roles, but when we’ve seen your shows cast the same type we address it,” someone wrote.

“Dude you named the show ‘Black Excellence,’ and yet pretty much the whole cast is half black,” another person wrote. “How’d you expect us to react?”

“The frustration comes from the name title ‘#BlackExcellence’ which has so many layers,” a third person tweeted. “But also your other shows & how dark skin people are casted in general in this industry.”

Plus, there were some people who said they hoped the show doesn’t do well, which Barris also responded to.

“Nice! Rooting 4 the failure of a Black man promoting a Black family because it’s not “black” enough 4 u,” he wrote.

“Black Excellence” will debut in 2020.

@funnyblackdude Twitter

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