Skip to Content

What Happened to Shaka From Family Reunion? Why Isaiah Left

What Happened to Shaka From Family Reunion? Why Isaiah Left

This post may contain affiliate links. We earn from qualifying purchases. Learn More

Family Reunion is a Netflix sitcom that first aired in 2019. It proved popular enough to be renewed for its second season just months after its premier and has gone on for a full three seasons as of October 2022.

One of the core members of the fictional McKellan family is the oldest son, Shaka, played by Isaiah Russell-Bailey. He was a regular cast member for the first two seasons, which was split into four separate parts.

However, in season three, 3 known as part 5, Shaka was no longer present on the show.  Below we explore what happened to Shaka’s character, why he left the show, and what his actor is doing now.

Why Did Shaka Leave Family Reunion?

Shaka left Family Reunion because he was sent to boarding school by his family. Isaiah Russell-Bailey, the actor who plays Shaka, has not said why he left the show, and neither have the show’s writers.

In-universe, Shaka’s absence from part 5 is explained by the fact that he’s gone to boarding school.

Fans of the first two seasons of Family Reunion know that Shaka is a very smart character, so it’s not unreasonable that his family would encourage him to focus on his studies at a boarding school.

Isaiah Russell-Bailey As Shaka McKellan In Family Reunion Season 1

Netflix implied that the removal of Shaka’s character would allow for more growth from the character’s younger brother Mazzi.

Who Replaced Shaka On Family Reunion?

Shaka was replaced by a new character named Tyson on the show Family Reunion. Shaka wasn’t recast with a new actor, but the role he filled as the older brother was filled in with a brand-new character played by Jasun Jabbar Wardlaw Jr.

Sometimes sitcoms will recast characters if the actors portraying them have to leave or aren’t considered a good fit anymore. While it isn’t wholly clear why Isaiah Russell-Bailey left Family Reunion, he wasn’t actually recast.

Instead, his character, Shaka, was said to be attending boarding school and no longer appeared on the show at all. To fill in the gap left by his character’s departure, the showrunners added a new character named Tyson to the family.

Tyson is the nephew of Moz and Cocoa, the parents of the McKellan family on the show. The McKellan’s take Tyson in to keep him from falling in with a bad crowd after he has trouble in Detroit.

Audience Reaction To Shaka Leaving Family Reunion

Fans definitely noticed right away that Shaka was not part of season 3 of Family Reunion. Many were upset that one of their favorite characters had left the show.

One user said they did “not approve” of the change, while others just couldn’t believe that Shaka was gone.

Needless to say, the abrupt departure of a long-standing character threw many people for a loop.

Will Shaka Return To Family Reunion?

Shaka will not return to Family Reunion because the third season is the final season of the show.

But fans of Shaka and his actor can still get their fix. In May 2023, Isaiah Russell-Bailey starred in a Disney-Plus original movie called Crater.

Russell-Bailey plays one of a group of five friends looking for treasure on the moon in the 23rd century. The movie is now streaming on Disney-Plus.