Speaking out for what’s important. Aisha Dee, one of the three main characters on The Bold Type, shared a powerful statement via Instagram on Wednesday, July 15, one day before the season 4 finale.
“Knowing the power that art had to shape my mind and experience, I had to speak up,” Dee, 26, wrote in a lengthy statement before explaining that playing Kat Edison on the Freeform drama was the first time she was able to not just play “the white character’s ‘best friend,'” but instead an “empowered and confident” woman with her own narrative, who explored her queer identity.
“Kat Edison: unapologetic, outspoken, brave, the woman I always wished I could be,” the Nowhere Inn star wrote, noting that she is “proud” to be part of a show that pushes boundaries. “I’m ready to take a cue from my girl Kat. What would Kat do? She would take a stand and advocate for herself and all other marginalized voices to influence change. I am ready to push harder and speak louder for what matters to me: The diversity we see in front of the camera needs to be reflected in the diversity of the creative team behind the camera.”
The writers’ room for the series, which debuted in 2017, consists of three writers who identify as LGBTQ+, and five are POC, Us Weekly confirms. Eight out of the 10 writers are female. In a statement to Us, the producers, Freeform and Universal Television thanked Dee for speaking out.
“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,” their statement read. “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.”
The Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas actress also explained her experience working on the show. “In four seasons (48 episodes) we’ve had one Black woman direct two episodes,” she wrote, adding that it “took three seasons” for the hair department to hire someone who could work on textured hair. “I want to make sure that no one else ever has to walk onto a set and feel as though their hair is a burden. It is not.”
Dee later commented on her character’s recent story line, in which Kat enters a relationship with a white conservative woman — something that has received a lot of fan backlash online.
“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,” she stated. “Someone who’s politics are actively harmful to her communities. I’m critical because I care, because I’ve seen firsthand the incredible impact of this show, and I believe in its potential to be better.”
The post wrapped up with the singer sharing that she has begun conversations with the writers and producers at The Bold Type, and is hopeful for change in the future.
Dee ended her post with: “This is not judgment, this is a call to action.”
Costars Katie Stevens and Meghann Fahy both shared the Instagram post on their own account. “V proud of my sister,” Fahy, 30, wrote. Stevens, 27, added, “I am beyond proud of my sister @aishtray. I stand by her through thick and thin and am so proud of the woman she is.”
The Bold Type finale airs on Freeform Thursday, July 16, at 10 p.m. ET.
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