The hugely successful creator of “Black-ish” forgot someone on his way to the top … namely the guy who says the show is based on his life.
Kenya Barris is the credited creator of the huge ABC hit, starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, and Bryan Barber says he and Kenya go way back to their college days in 1996.
In a lawsuit Barber just filed — obtained by TMZ — he says he and Kenya both became writers and both had agents at William Morris. He says they formed a partnership in 2006, and came up with a script about a show focusing on the “black experience” … seen through the lens of a “successful, creative and affluent black man” who works in the mostly white entertainment industry.
“Black-ish” fans know that’s Anderson’s character to a T, except he works at an advertising agency.
In the the suit, Barber says the script was based on HIS life experiences, and he and Kenya agreed to exploit it for their shared benefit. Problem is … he says they parted ways at some point before 2014, when ABC started airing “Black-ish.”
Barber says Barris’ show bears tons of similarities to the show they co-created — such as the lead male character driving a luxury car, wearing high-end clothing, and marrying a bi-racial doctor named “Rainbow.”
He’s suing Barris and the show’s production company for at least $1 million. Plus, he wants writer and creator credits which would net him even more dough.