The Bold Type just wrapped its shortened fourth season on Freeform, but one of the show’s stars has some harsh but honest words about the series, particularly the lack of representation and some confusing storylines.
Aisha Dee, who plays Kat Edison on the show, took to Instagram to speak out about some concerns she’s had. She started her post by discussing how joining The Bold Type has been a life-changing experience for her.
“Knowing the power that art had to shape my mind and experience, I have to speak up,” Dee wrote. “The Bold Type came into my world at a moment when my self-esteem was at an all-time low… For the first time in my career, I got to play a character who was centered in her own narrative. She wasn’t just the white character’s ‘best friend.’ She was empowered and confident, she approached the exploration of her queer identity with an open heart, and was met with nothing but love and acceptance from her friends.”
But she also has her concerns. For a show that’s been revered as diverse and inclusive, that diversity we seen on the screen hasn’t been reflected behind the scenes.
“The diversity we see in front of the camera needs to be reflected in the diversity of the creative team behind the camera,” Dee wrote. “It took two seasons to get a single BIPOC in the writers’ room for The Bold Type. And even then, the responsibility to speak for the entire Black experience cannot and should not fall on one person. We got to tell a story about a queer Black woman and a lesbian Muslim woman falling in love, but there have never been any queer Black or Muslim writers in the room. In four seasons (48 episodes) we’ve had one Black woman direct two episodes. It took three seasons to get someone in the hair department who knew how to work with textured hair. This was impactful on so many levels, and I’m grateful for the women who showed me how to embrace and love my hair in a way I never had before.”
Dee also criticized one of the storylines in season 4 regarding the romance between Kat and Eva, a conservative white woman. She said “the decision to have Kat enter into a relationship with a privileged conservative woman” had “felt confusing and out of character.”
“Despite my personal feelings about the choice, I tried my best to tell the story with honesty, even though the Kat I know and love would never make these choices,” Dee said. “It was heartbreaking to watch Kat’s story turn into a redemption story for someone else, someone who is complicit in the oppression of so many. Someone whose politics are actively harmful to her communities.”
In the season finale, Kat appeared to have ended things with Eva. But given that it wasn’t the original finale, who knows where that storyline would’ve gone. We’ll see whether the show chooses to continue that relationship or cut ties altogether.