Tia & Tamara actress Jackée Harry opened up about her relationship with Kenya Barris in the 1980s on a digital feature with Essence. Harry talked with Sheryl Lee Ralph about being mean to Barris back then and how she learned that she should’ve been nice to him, as you should be to everyone because you never know how big they’ll grow to be in the future.
Lee Ralph began, “How many times has the young person that has brought me coffee ends up being the producer in the next five-to-10 years? Oh, I’ve seen that. You gotta tamp that ego down and really have someone good to talk you off the cliff,” she advised.
Harry continued speaking frankly about how she treated Barris when he was a script runner on the 80s sitcom 227 while she was playing Sandra Clark. She said, “Well, I wasn’t talked off the cliff. You know who used to bring me my scripts for 227 to my door and deliver them? Kenya Barris…[I] wasn’t nice to him” She explained that she even ran into him later, “I wasn’t nice to him. You see, look at me now. I ain’t lyin’—and he reminded me of it!”
Although Harry learned her lesson, she admitted that she mostly acted that way because of the time. “It was the ’80s, baby!”
Clips from the larger feature sparked some comments on Twitter about the whole situation.
Jackeé Harry being mean to Kenya was his 13th reason for the content he makes now
— Reece 🇻🇨 (@nupersona) January 5, 2023
Jackeé Harry is still a class act for calling herself out on this mistake.
— patty_hogg (@PattyHogg) January 5, 2023
There is a great lesson here. Treat others, the way you want them to treat you.
— Adetula Harry Gbenga (@harrytula4real) January 5, 2023
I love that she owned it and took accountability instead of just acting like it never happened. I can respect that
— Althea “The Queen” (@iamthequeen87) January 5, 2023