In the suit, filed in a Los Angeles Superior Court Friday (Sept. 9), Bryan Barber asserts that Black-ish creator, Kenya Barris, sold the comedy without his “knowledge or authorization and without providing credit and compensation.”
Barber asserts that he and Barris became friends while attending Clark University in 1996, and formed a partnership a decade later when they were writers under the William Morris Agency.
According to the complaint, Barber and Barris came up with a show for VH-1 in 2006 that was “about the black experience as seen through lens of an affluent creative black man working in the predominately white entertainment industry.” Barber says the concept was based off his own life.
The network later “ceased development” on the show and Barris “wrote developed and shopped” Black-ish sometime between “the end of 2006 and September 2014,” when it premiered on ABC.
The suit alleges glaring similarities between the alleged script that Barber and Brian drafted together, and the first episode of Black-ish.
Barris hasn’t publicly responded to Barber’s lawsuit. Season three of Black-ish premieres Sept. 21.