‘Black-ish’ Creator Kenya Barris Inks Multiyear Overall Deal With Netflix

Agreement was expected after writer exited ABC Studios contract early

Kenya Barris
Kenya Barris (Photo credit: Megan Miller)

“Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris is officially moving in at Netflix, the streamer announced Thursday. The mega-producer, who recently exited his pact with ABC Studios early, just signed a multi-year overall deal at Netflix.

As part of the pact, the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated writer and producer new series exclusively at with the streamer — starting today — under his Khalabo Ink Society banner.

“Kenya Barris is one of our great modern storytellers,” Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content at Netflix, said in a statement. “Kenya uses his voice to make audiences more aware of the world around them, while simultaneously making them laugh. His honesty, comedic brilliance and singular point of view, combined with the creative freedom he will enjoy at Netflix, promises to create powerful new stories for all our members around the world.”

“When my agents reached out to me about this little garage start-up called Netflix, I wasn’t sure what to think,” Barris added. “But after I talked to Ted and Cindy, I started to believe that maybe this mom-and-pop shop with only 130 million subscribers might just be something … so I decided to take a swing … a leap of faith if you will, and take a chance with the new kids on the block.”

Variety wrote that the deal is “valued at roughly $100 million” — a number that puts Barris in the company of Netflix’s recent big gets Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy. Barris’ reps did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on the dollar amount. Netflix did not comment on the salary range when reached.

Barris created “black-ish” for ABC, along with its spin-off series “Grown-ish” and the upcoming comedy “Besties,” both for sister-network Freeform. He also penned last summer’s comedy blockbuster “Girls Trip.”

Last month, ABC announced Barris was exiting his overall deal with the studio — which was supposed to be good through 2021.

“I’m very grateful to Patrick Moran and his team at ABC Studios, who have supported me every step of the way as I created the worlds of ‘black-ish,’ grown-ish, and now Besties,” Barris said in a statement. “It has been an incredible ride including a Peabody and Golden Globe win, Emmy nominations, and many other accolades. But most importantly, they’ve allowed me to realize my dream of creating my own shows and I’m so proud of the work we’ve done together. No matter what, the studio has never wavered in their support of my creative vision. Leaving is bittersweet, but between my series on the air and projects currently in development, I know I’ll continue to work with ABC Studios for a long time.”