Star of FreeForm show “The Bold Type,” Aisha Dee is making headlines for speaking up against her character’s current plotline in a post on her Instagram page.
“I grew up in the ’90s – in very white, very conservative space, and while I actually have very fond memories of my childhood, I was always an outcast,” starts Dee’s Instagram post.
“Knowing the power that art had to shape my mind and experience, I had to speak up,” the post continues.
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Dee plays Kat Edison, the outspoken queer activist — aka the former social media head of Scarlet Magazine and the former City Council hopeful. In her current plotline, Dee’s character falls for a lesbian Conservative pundit — and not just in a “she’s hot but I hate her” kind of way. Instead, they not only have a spark but kiss and more.
“The decision to have Kat enter into a relationship with a privileged conservative woman felt confusing and out of character,” writes Dee in her post. “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. 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.”
Dee’s post has not been met with silence, however. Executives from FreeForm responded to the actress’s public remarks, praising her for using her platform.
“We applaud Aisha for raising her hand and starting conversations around these important issues. We look forward to continuing that dialogue and enacting positive change,” representatives from the network said in a statement to Variety. “Our goal on ‘The Bold Type’ is and has always been to tell entertaining, authentic stories that are representative of the world that Kat, Jane and Sutton live in — we can only do that if we listen.”
FreeForm representatives went on to note that “The Bold Type” has had queer women of color on staff, including a lesbian woman of color in season two and a bisexual woman of color in season three. The statistics given for season four include three LGBTQ+ writers and five writers of color, with eight of the 10 writers being female. This is in addition to Dee’s comment in her Instagram post that “in four seasons (48 episodes) [“The Bold Type”] had one Black woman direct two episodes.”
Dee’s costars also responded to her statement, sharing the actress’s Instagram post and expressing their support publicly.
“I am beyond proud of my sister @aishtray,” Katie Stevens, who plays Jane, wrote in her repost. “I stand by her through thick and thin and am so proud of the woman she is.”
“V proud of my sister,” Meghann Fahy, who portrays Sutton, wrote in her caption.
The season four finale of “The Bold Type” aired last week, and considering the show’s production was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s currently no word on when the next season will be premiering.