The Bold Type star Aisha Dee has spoken out against a lack of diversity on the television series, TVLine reported. In a lengthy Instagram post, Dee explained that she was prepared to “push harder and speak louder” on issues she finds important.
The biracial Australian actor plays Kat Edison, whose storylines have involved running for local government, discovering her bisexuality, and becoming romantically involved with a female Muslim artist.
Dee noted it took two seasons for the show to hire a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color) writer, and that there were still no queer Black or Muslim women on the writing staff. However, a source told TVLine that queer women of color had featured on the writing staff from Season 2, and by the show’s fourth season, eight out of the 10 writers were female. This included three writers who identified as LGBQT+ and five people of color.
Dee also referenced a storyline that has infuriated fans this season, in which Kat begins a relationship with a white, conservative woman, calling the storyline “confusing” and “out of character.”
She said that the story was a “redemption arc” for the conservative character and that she believed her character would not make the choice to enter a relationship with them.
Essence recently published a lengthy article condemning the choice.
“[The show] silenced Kat’s growth out of fear of isolating conservative viewership, and at the cost of its only Black, queer female lead.”
They called the storyline a “failure to Kat as a character and a disservice to the show’s Black, queer, and true feminist viewers.”
The Inquisitr previously reported that fans were also less than pleased at the storyline.
“What The Bold Type is doing with the character of RJ’s daughter is legitimately awful I’m like in shock that that show is actually doing this, and the fact that they’re doing it with their Black lead is absolute garbage,” one fan tweeted.
Vulture reported Freeform, Universal TV, and The Bold Type’s producer supported Edison’s post with a statement applauding Dee’s commitment to generating conversation and pushing for inclusion. The statement also said that they “look forward to continuing that dialogue and enacting positive change.”
The show has been praised for how it handles heavier subjects such as gun control, white privilege, sexual assault, and women’s health. The Inquisitr reported that the last two episodes were not filmed before the show was forced into hiatus due to coronavirus, and as yet the show has not been renewed for a fifth season.