While June remains to be the most popular month to get married, one famous couple is headed down the divorce aisle…for the third time. Black-ish producer, Kenya Barris has filed for divorce from his doctor wife, Rainbow, the inspiration behind the show’s matriarch. According to The Los Angeles Times, this is the third time either spouse has filed to legally split.
The pair were wed in 1999, and share six children, four of which are minors, aged 16, 14, 12, and 5. Kenya is seeking joint physical custody, and legal custody of the kids. He has also preliminarily agreed to pay spousal support to his soon-to-be ex wife.
The Barrises originally filed for divorce in 2014, and later withdrew the petition. The second attempt came in 2019, but was soon called off as well. People reports that the two have been separated since 2020.
The award winning family sitcom, Black-ish is loosely based upon the life of the Barrises. And apparently, it was part Dr. Barris’ idea to include more of the couple’s real life drama into the show. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she spoke to the struggles she faced with her husband in saying “I think you owe it to your viewers to show this.”
“Because so many of the stories are situations very exact to our life,” she added, “Kenya cannot help as a writer but to make the character of Bow more prominent [and] important. When you take these real-life situations where life is happening every day, viewers feel like they know this family — because they can say they are this family.”
Anthony Anderson played a version of Kenya as Anthony “Dre” Johnson, while Tracee Ellis Ross found a second sitcom life after Girlfriends, in the role she played as Rainbow. Debuting in 2014, Barris walked away four years later citing creative differences. The show ran for 8 full seasons, finally concluding in April of this year.
Barris also produced #BlackAF, a not so family friendly depiction of the Barrises life which streamed on Netflix for one season only in 2020. After initially being renewed in 2021, the mockumentary style comedic series was eventually canceled. This was of little consequence to the acclaimed producer however, as he also had his hands in the development of other shows within the Black-ish universe including Grown-ish and Mixed-ish. According to Deadline, there have been talks of other spin offs including Old-ish and Brown-ish, which would revolve around a modern day LatinX family.