As predicted, Kenya Barris will officially exit ABC Studios.
The award-winning writer/producer secured a multi-year overall deal with the studio in , serving as the showrunner for ABC’s hit sitcom Black-ish, as well as its Freeform spinoff Grown-ish. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Barris’ contract with the studio was set to expired in 2021; however, both parties were able to negotiate Barris’ early exit, which will officially take place next month.
“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,” he wrote 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 […] 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.”
According to THR, Barris will continue to serve as the executive producer for both Black-ish and Grown-ish.
Earlier this year, rumors began circulating that Barris was attempting to get out of his ABC contract in light of a creative disputes regarding an unaired, politically charged episode of Black-ish. Though his team has not confirmed Barris’ next move, sources told THR that the 43-year-old is looking to ink a nine-figure overall deal with Netflix, following in the footsteps of Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy. The streaming giant declined to comment Friday.