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Kenya Barris on 'grown-ish' and Hollywood's power imbalance

The cast of
The cast of "grown-ish" includes (L-R) Chris Parnell, Jordan Buhat, Emily Arlook, Yara Shahidi, Trevor Jackson, Fancia Raisa and Deon Cole as Charlie Telphy.
Freeform/Andrew Eccles
The cast of
Kenya Barris, left, the creator of "black-ish," with cast members Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross on the set of the ABC series.
Ron Tom/ABC

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Whether you call it a reckoning, an awakening or a moment of truth — as the sea of black dresses at the Golden Globes made clear— Hollywood is going through something big right now.

Kenya Barris, the creator and executive producer of the ABC series, “black-ish,” and the new Freeform spin-off, "grown-ish," was at the Globes ceremony because "black-ish" was nominated for Best Musical or Comedy TV series.

But what got most people talking about the Globes wasn’t really who won or lost, it was the women —  dressed in black, many joined by female activists — in solidarity with "Time’s Up." That’s the initiative created by 300 women working in entertainment to fight harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace.

"It was inspiring to kind of see people galvanize over a good cause," Barris told The Frame's John Horn during an interview at his office on the Disney lot. "At the same time, I think it's also a crazy time, it's a divisive time in Hollywood, that I hope we figure out a way to not just sort of separate, but actually unite."

“black-ish" is now in its fourth season on ABC. And “grown-ish” recently premiered on Freeform (formerly ABC Family). The series star 17-year-old Yara Shahidi, who plays Zoey, the eldest child on “black-ish.” On “grown-ish,” Zoey heads off to college at the fictional “Cal U.”

(L-R) Yara Shahidi, Emily Arlook, Francia Raisa, Halle Bailey, and Chloe Bailey in a scene from Freeform's
(L-R) Yara Shahidi, Emily Arlook, Francia Raisa, Halle Bailey, and Chloe Bailey in a scene from Freeform's "grown-ish."
Byron Cohen

Barris spoke with The Frame about “black-ish," “grown-ish,” and about changing the imbalance of power in Hollywood.

To hear the full conversation click the play button at the top of the page or get The Frame podcast.

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