by G. Brown
Kenya Barris’ hit show “Black-ish” has called ABC Network home for the last four years, but it looks like he may be ready to find a new home. According to entertainment site Cinema Blend, “…things apparently haven’t been going so smoothly, and Barris is reportedly seeking to exit his overall development deal with ABC Studios. And he might just be thinking about a more lucrative position at Netflix, similar to Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes’ recent deal.”
Cinema Blend goes on to say Barris wasn’t pleased when the network recently decided “to pull a politically charged black-ish episode from the schedule“. The Hollywood Reporter says the episode was “poised to feature star Anthony Anderson’s Dre relaying his concerns about the current stage of the country to his son.” The “creative differences” being cited by the network may mean Season 4 is the last season for the Johnson family on ABC. Ironically, another family…”Roseanne’s” Conner family is getting a different response for espousing its political views.
After more than two decades, Roseanne, Dan, Darlene and the whole Conner clan is back for the reboot of the 90’s sitcom. The March premiere focused on what much of America is focused on–the Trump White House. The title character and her alter-ego(Roseanne Barr) both are staunch Trump supporters. The politically infused episode hit home with more than 16 million viewers as well as Trump himself who reportedly called Barr to praise the show for praising him.
So while the re-boot featuring a White working class family gets praise for talking politics, the show featuring the Black upper middle class family was denied the chance to talk politics and may get the boot. The show has not, at the time of this writing, been renewed for a fifth season.
Some argue that most people missed the point of “Roseanne”. That the show wasn’t proselytizing Trumpism, but rather highlighting the disconnect working class Whites are facing after seeing the hope they had in his promises vanish with each embarrassing Tweet. That may be true, but why was the “Roseanne” show given a chance to focus on political views when “Black-ish” was denied the same opportunity?
The Emmy nominated, Peabody Award winning “Black-ish” has used comedy to tackle some pretty tough social issues like racism, police brutality the use of the “N”word and homosexuality. But the one issue that all of America is talking about is too taboo for a fictional Black family to address?
What do you think…will “Black-ish” remain at ABC? Or is the show’s creator right to be angry over the network pulling the plug on the episode that talked about Black Americans and politics?