‘Black-ish’ Creator Kenya Barris: ‘I’m So Tired of Talking About Diversity’

TCA 2016: “I will be so happy when diversity is not a word,” executive producer says

Black-ish scriptation

After two seasons on the air, “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris is constantly having to answer questions about diversity.

During the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Thursday in Beverly Hills, Barris shut down a reporter’s question about the demographics of the show’s audience, saying it shouldn’t matter.

“I will be so happy when diversity is not a word,” he said. “I have the best job in the world and I’m constantly having to talk about diversity. I have the best actors. It’s ridiculous … It doesn’t matter who’s watching our show.”

He clarified that he wasn’t upset by the question, but simply tired of having to have the same conversation about race while trying to produce what he sees as a family comedy that can appeal to everyone.

“It’s clouding the conversation,” he said.

Tracee Ellis Ross, who received an Emmy nomination for her work on the ABC sitcom, jumped in to ask the reporter, “Is that a question you’ve asked other shows that are not predominantly of a certain color?”

“I think sometimes that those questions continue the conversation in a direction that does not help,” she said.

“I have the best job,” Barris later explained, eventually sharing that the show’s audience is predominantly white, and about 23 percent black. “We get to come to work everyday and do something that’s starting a conversation.”