Kenya Barris’s parting gift

Posted by Sarah on "\/Date(1670344629487)\/"

Rewind time and recall that Kenya Barris, the creator of Black-ish, signed a mega-deal to produce series and films for Netflix. That was 2018. By January 2021, Barris broke up with Netflix, dissatisfied with the inability to be as “edgy” as he wanted. He said he wants to do “in-your-face sh-t” but felt the folks at Netflix wants stuff that is “down the middle”. Given that Netflix’s business is built on being “everything to everyone”, that tracks. But, just because Barris walked away from his nine-figure deal—don’t worry, he landed on his feet at the new BET Studios—doesn’t mean he didn’t have to wrap up some stuff for Netflix. One such thing is the film You People, which Barris directs and also co-wrote with Jonah Hill.  ...Full Story


Today's Intro

Dear Gossips,   It was decided yesterday that Amy Robach and TJ Holmes would be on indefinite hiatus from GMA3 after it was revealed last week that they’ve been in a romantic relationship even though they’re still married to other people. Good Morning America is based in New York City, but do you know who broke this story?  The Daily Mail, way over in England. They were the ones who published the photos of Amy and TJ last week, seemingly having tracked the couple over several days in November, from the pub where they had after-work drinks, to a cabin in the woods where they spent a weekend away. It was definitely a stakeout, a stakeout that paid off. And then again yesterday, do you know who broke the story that ABC executives had made the call to keep Amy and TJ off the air? American media, by now, is all over this. New York media, in particular, is allllll the way up in this. But, again, it was the Daily Mail with the exclusive that Amy and TJ would not be in their seats on Monday morning. Even the NY Post acknowledged that the Daily Mail had it first. Only later did TMZ fill in the details about the editorial call that happened with ABC News President Kim Goodwin telling staff that Amy and TJ’s affair was not a “violation of company policy” but it is “an internal and external distraction”.  I personally doubt very much that the Daily Mail editors were watching GMA3 every morning and wondering if Amy and TJ were f-cking, and decided to put an investigator on it. It’s much more likely that they were tipped off by someone on the inside, like weeks ago, and so began the stakeout. Presumably it’s that same person or persons who tipped them off again yesterday when the decision was made to bench Amy and TJ. Whoever they are, my theory is that they specifically chose the Daily Mail and not an American gossip outlet, like the NY Post/Page Six, because local reporters would have ties to the networks and would, at least, have owed ABC and GMA a courtesy before dropping the bombshell (standard media operating procedure especially in close range), thus giving them time to prepare. The Daily Mail has no f-cks to give about ABC and GMA, they just want the scandal. And so here we are… A workplace cheating drama happening during what’s supposed to be the coziest and most wholesome time of day. If you’ve read Brian Stelter’s Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV (Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon’s The Morning Show is based on it), you’re familiar with the contradiction. Morning television is supposed to feel like a hug… but that doesn’t mean the people on morning television and the people who make morning television aren’t still show business people operating by show business standards; it’s petty and competitive, it’s tense, it can often be unkind, rivalries abound and grudges are kept.  And someone – or several of them – have been keeping grudges against Amy and TJ. According to Page Six, before his romance with Amy, TJ allegedly cheated on his wife with other ABC staffers. And that may be why the network is pausing them right now, because while his situation with Amy may not be a “violation of company policy”, if there were other situations with other people, and if power imbalances were involved, for ABC that’s more than just an affair between two consenting adults in equal workplace positions. What’s even more complicated though is that GMA3 ratings apparently went up last week after news broke of Amy and TJ’s affair as people tuned in to see what they would say, or not say. Will there be the same interest this week when it’s already been confirmed that they won’t be back indefinitely? There are also other money matters to consider. If the president of the news division, on a call with staffers, said that Amy and TJ did not violate company policy but still might lose their chairs, that might require a payout. Because right now they’ve just declared, with witnesses, that they’d done nothing wrong. But this is what they need to figure out in the coming days – and it would probably be best, during this process, to minimise the leaks. As a news organisation you don’t want a British tabloid repeatedly beating you to your own story. Yours in gossip,Lainey