'Hollywood, The Sequel,' Episode 3: First Responder Filmmaking with Kenya Barris

The Frame


In every episode we are asking some of the sharpest minds in the entertainment business to look at the impact. This terrible year has had on their word and predict how and if it will lead to permanent change when production resumed again. Can you bear us is perfectly positioned to look at the shifting landscape of Hollywood. He's the creator of the semi autobiographical ABC Sitcoms Blackish, and it's two spinoffs grown ish and mixed. And after major success in Network TV, he made the leap to streaming content signing a reported hundred million dollar deal at net flicks. His latest series is called Black Af, and it was just renewed for a second season, and then everything stopped. We have dates. But you know those dates. Keep getting pushed and everyone's Kinda just hopeful, which is hopeful that you know one of these days is going to stick and we're GONNA actually. Start back up for production because there's a lot of people who. Work on stage and set note that feeds their families, so we're hoping that it actually gets going some. I reached Kenya Peres at his home and he was about to get back into his black AF writer's room, virtually of course and I asked him about writing comedy at a time like this a lot of the stuff that I really enjoy writing is actually. Kind of social commentary and things that are saying things and right now in particular. Most of the stuff that I do. It's really hard because. If you look you just say I. Don't know how to. Tell the story in an online insincere way and not include. Covert or not include. Trump or not include. Police brutality not include sort of changing landscape in the world is turning. Upside down in front of us every other day. And how do you not include that? But at the same time? Do you still escapism entertainment? And so you want to give people something to leave the it's. It's very difficult. Balancing Act Right now and I kinda feel like we are. Where uncharted territory so we're doing the best. We can sort of figure it out and hopefully I think there's going to be a lot of late nights. Honesty John I think a lot of late nights, and a lot is sort of like okay was table, but like let's let's take it back to the lab in less now. How do we figure this out I? Think that that's the only way that we can really do these shows in anything that we're working on justice. If like me, you've been working at home. You start to notice a lot of noise. Run the neighborhood especially from your neighbors and that happened when I was talking to Kenya, Barris. By the way your dog I'm here. Yes. It's my next door neighbor. Let me ask. Every time I. Enjoy my life. Gardner. So we had to move locations. Then we got down to the premise of Hollywood, the sequel current moment as frustrating and frightening, as it is, could also be an opportunity to identify what needs to change and what can change in the industry. I feel like the biggest thing. Other big thing I think the first thing. If it were me, I would say is that. We need to make sure that. In front of behind. An executive levels at. Corporate level that we are creating. Places of business and work models that actually reflect what the world looks like. I think that's it starts. They're saying I kind of like. Let's make. This you know these be of like. Versions of outside of us and I think oftentimes look at these in these situations like this isn't the world I. Know What I'm saying and I think I really applaud Marta Kauffman she really talked about, and she almost like was tearful, and saying like the idea of what friends, but she never the lack of diversity on France and I. Know Martin and she's a sweet lady and she's a genius, but there's no version of. Whatever part of New York that might be I? Don't know what I'm saying. I wear. Where was this cafe? There's not even a Puerto Rican. They're I feel like the notion of like remembering that the world needs to reflect. With the road actually looks down the. First thing I think that looking at the the place that we're making people work. Saying the idea that we're making people work inside a situation where. They need to feel comfortable. It's work it's not. It's not the club. It's not. Someone's backyard. It's a price that they're going to support themselves. Saying and so I think you know if someone's. LGBTQ or a woman, or if they're black or Latin, X or Asian or whatever the case may be I feel like people should not have to go to work and have moments that they feel. and. They're just trying to support their family so I think we need to make sure that we're you know especially in entertainment because it has such a lax model to it some time we forget that this. Ultimately, people are starting to feed their family and keep Bruce over family said so. We need to make sure people feel comfortable in the work. Environment also feel like You know I think it's time for different stories to be told and we you know and I think that that is really really really important I'm doing a movie. On The Guy, who been that television, show cops and the notion of how? That show perverted into ranged the idea of. What? The black community looks like and the perception of policing. The black community for generations. We can, he's to allow play like I thought. That was something I feel like was just unchecked. And you know the unchecked balance of power has now become check so that that's my long winded answer like I think we have to shift. To a little bit more of like, you know being aware of people outside of the mainstream. But your mention of cops is really important because I think it gets it two things. One is the way that narratives can shape our view of the world, and specifically the way that narratives about a certain group of people can color our view of that situation I wouldn't say just cops say like the lethal weapon movies dirty, Harry these ideas that these rogue police officers who work kind of extra judicially? Those are the heroes of. Of those stories, not the people that they're taking advantage of, but that's the way that we start to see the world, and it gets to the bigger point. That I think you're talking about. Is that these stories matter because they're not just entertainment, because they really affect the way that we see things, and they start to soak into our subconscious, or even our consciousness in ways that we don't really understand until it's almost too late. Right, I think that's completely right or not. I want to be clear. I fucking love liaison. Saying, but but I feel like I'm looking for the lane to be white. Saying? That working on two lane highways, and I feel like the the notion of diversity in the notion

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