Black-ish Creator Kenya Barris Files For Divorce From Wife — And Inspo Behind “Rainbow” — After 20 Years Together
Black-ish creator Kenya Barris is pulling the plug on his marriage after 20 years together.
According to records obtained by The Blast, Harris filed for divorce on August 9 in LA County from wife Rania Barris. Rania is an anesthesiologist in West Hollywood who has been in practice for more than a decade.
Black-ish is loosely based on the experiences of the Barris family and their upper-middle-class life, and Rania, whose nickname is “Rainbow,” is the inspiration for Tracee Ellis Ross’ character of the same name. The pair wed in 1999 and have six children.
“The seed of the show came from my own family,” Kenya told PEOPLE in 2017. “I looked around and saw that my kids were not like little black kids that I remember growing up. The world is changing, and that’s being reflected by the Johnsons.”
Rania has also said in the past that when Black-ish began, the moments/storylines featured on the series that directly pulled from their family life could be uncomfortable to watch; that includes the emotional separation storyline between Rain and Dre. However, in time, she found that watching some of their life experiences dramatized ended up being healing.
“I think you owe it to your viewers to show this,” she said she told Kenya about the separation story, which was a reality for the couple in the past.
“I started to say to my family, ‘Let’s make this a little bit more therapeutic for us,'” she added. “Now I’m really grateful to have this [show].”
Interesting enough, Barris is reportedly working on a film about divorce. It was announced in late 2018 that it was going to be a “gritty, pull-no punches comedy” centered around a family trying to get through a divorce. According to Deadline, the script will be inspired by his real-life experiences. The comedy “explores exactly what happens when everyone’s favorite couple calls it quits.”