For the second time, Kenya Barris has filed for divorce from his wife of 20 years, Dr. Rania “Rainbow” Barris. The black-ish creator cited irreconcilable differences when he filed on June 1, People reported. Kenya Barris is requesting joint custody of their children. They share six children in total but four of them are minors. Barris also agreed to pay spousal support.
Kenya and Rania Barris have been married since 1999 and have been separated since 2020. Their marriage has been on the rocks for quite some time and their efforts to reconcile have failed. Rania Barris filed for divorce in 2014 and then withdrew the request. In 2019, Kenya Barris filed for divorce on his 45th birthday in the Los Angeles Superior Court but later changed his mind.
Since their marriage inspired the love story of Andre and Rainbow Johnson on black-ish, Rania Barris encouraged her husband to not exclude their challenging moments from the plot.
“I think you owe it to your viewers to show this,” she told Entertainment Weekly about what she told Barris in 2018. “Because so many of the stories are situations very exact to our life, Kenya cannot help as a writer but to make the character of Bow more prominent [and] important.”
She added, When you’re sharing your life, you can never run out of material.”
Kenya Barris said that he never saw marital discord on his favorite shows and decided to step outside of his norm when ‘Bow and Dre’s marriage was shaky during season four.
“When I was growing up, I never saw couples fight on the family sitcoms I loved to watch,” Barris said in a statement according to EW. “Subsequently, when tough times arose in my own relationship, I wasn’t prepared and felt so isolated and alone. Marital issues weren’t a part of the narrative that television told me was a ‘working relationship.’ Fifty-three percent of American marriages fail, which is about the same odds as DeAndre Jordan making a free-throw. I wanted to explore Dre and Bow’s relationship going through a difficult time and how it impacts the whole family.”
Rania Barris also used their family life for inspiration for her book, Keeping Up With the Johnsons.