Ludacris' 'Karma's World' Just Got Bigger—And It's Just Getting Started

Creator Chris Bridges and head writer Halcyon Person have big dreams for the animated Netflix series. Though their mission centers Black children, they hope the show makes a difference for all.

Netflix's Karma's World solidified itself as relevant and conversation-starting early in Season 1 when 10-year-old Karma fielded racially insensitive comments about her coily hair. The animated series by creator and executive producer Chris Bridges (better known as rapper and actor Ludacris), is the kind of coming-of-age story, featuring a Black girl, that many Black parents wish we'd grown up with. It's something Bridges has worked on bringing to viewers for a long time, and he's happy with the reception.

"I worked so hard on it for the last 13 years," Bridges says in an interview with Kindred by Parents. "I was hoping that it would be accepted and embraced the way that it is."

Not only has Karma's World been embraced, but it's earned three NAACP Award nominations and premiered in the top 10 in 42 countries on Netflix Kids. And now, the world is expanding with a newly launched line of dolls, styling heads, and accessories in collaboration with Mattel—all in line with the show's theme of self-empowerment.

The show was inspired by Bridges' oldest daughter, Karma, who's now 20. "Throughout the 13 years, it started becoming inspired by my other daughters as well," says Bridges. "It's a combination of just being a girl dad and wanting to be the change I want to see in the world."

A dad to four girls, he finds purpose in uplifting positive stories of Black children, especially Black girls. He also hopes he's taught them some key things: they're intelligent, beautiful, have a purpose in this world, and "come from a strong lineage of women."

Halcyon Person, head writer on Karma's World, says passing on these affirmations to Black and brown children is a responsibility she and the writing team take seriously.

"Our guiding light, honestly, is thinking about the young Black kid at home who's watching the show and their families. We talk about every episode through that lens," says Person in an interview with Kindred by Parents. "Because while we know that a lot of kids around the world will be watching—kids from every different experience—we know that at the core, if a show doesn't have a clean, clear, true mission of who they're speaking to and who their show is for, everything else will get watered down and washed out."

And nothing about Karma and her family, friends, and neighborhood is watered down.

Karma's World

"I believe that in specificity comes universality," says Person. "And I think that when we speak about a specific Brooklyn Black family with a specific experience, that actually is more robust and more exciting and more authentic. And we'll get more people to fall in love with our characters than if we tried to be everything for everyone."

Person, who grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey, and identifies as biracial, credits the diversity of backgrounds to family experiences. From Bridges' collegial relationship with his daughters to the senior show writer's Louisiana upbringing to one of the producers' Midwest experiences, the team behind the show brings the diversity of Black experiences to life.

"The show is really popular across every demographic, which is amazing, but it means the most to me to know that when I'm seeing posts online and people talking about the show that we're getting real true traction with Black families and particularly Black kids loving the show," she says.

Season 3 of Karma's World premiered on Netflix on July 7 with—of course—more original music and dancing, but also with storylines including dyslexia, toxic masculinity, and disability rights. Person is proud of the topics the show has gotten to cover but knows there's always more to be done.

"The kids who are watching our show have spent two-plus years living with COVID and the social isolation of being with your families," she says. She says the team wants to tell stories about "the idea of going from isolation to trying to make new friends and the social anxiety around new people and trying to figure out who you are in a new space." Person says the show will also dig deeper into Black history, the history of Black music, and celebrating Black communities.

"We know that kids are dealing with so much right now. There's so much that's coming into their orbit and we want to be a tool. We want to be a resource to them and their families as they're going through," she says.

That's also important to Bridges.

"Creating Karma's World and seeing the impact that it's having on young Black girls, and just children in general—even parents that say they wish they had this when they were kids, that is part of the legacy of trying to balance out this world of negativity, where we wake up every day and something else is going on. I'm being a part of the change," he says. "I'm just trying to tip the scale to the positive and loving side."

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