The actor, who portrays Kat Edison in the Freeform show, shared an Instagram post on the topic on Wednesday. The Bold Type follows three millenial women working for the fictional publication Scarlet in New York City.
She recounted growing up in “very white”, “very conservative” spaces in the 1990s in Australia, and turning to art as a way to “feel less alone”.
“Knowing the power that art had to shape my experience, I have to speak up,” she added.
Dee praised the show for making her character Kat “unapologetic, outspoken, brave”, and explained that Kat had inspired her to speak out.
“It took two seasons to get a single BIPOC in the writer’s room for The Bold Type,” she wrote. “And even then, the responsibility to speak for the entire Black experience cannot and should not fall on one person.”
Dee also wrote that “it took three seasons to get someone in the hair department who knew how to work with textured hair”, and said the decision to have her character Kat enter a relationship with a “privileged conservative woman” felt “confusing and out of character”.
“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,” she wrote, adding that “these issues are not exclusive to The Bold Type” but rather extend to the entertainment industry as a whole.
Producers of The Bold Type, Freeform and Universal Television stood by Dee’s comments in a statement to Variety, telling the publication: “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.
“Our goal on The Bold Type is and has always been to tell entertaining, authentic stories that are representative of the world that [series characters] Kat, Jane and Sutton live in — we can only do that if we listen.”
The Independent has contacted Freeform’s representative for more information.