If you haven’t watched The Bold Type Season 1 Episode 1, don’t worry. There aren’t any spoilers here.
The Bold Type is a show that definitely deserves a spot on your summer watch list. If you don’t want to take my word for it, read what the cast and executive producers had to say about it.
We had the opportunity to sit down with a handful of other reporters to chat with executive producer Sarah Watson, co-executive producer Holly Whidden, Melora Hardin (Jacqueline), Katie Stevens (Jane), and Aisha Dee (Kat).
The Bold Type is the feminist show you’ve been looking for, but, don’t worry, as Dee stated, “it’s not a Sunday school special.”
Dee went on to say, “As much as we’re all feminists here and we all believe in empowerment and equality and all of that jazz...”
Stevens jumped in, “It’s not preachy.”
Dee agreed, “No, we’re here to like have a good time, and that’s what life is about, you know? We all want to be treated fairly, but we also want to have a good time doing it.”
Stevens said what The Bold Type “shows is women supporting one another, which is also very important. I mean it's important for certain people in this world right now to see strong women and to know, you know, we will fight back, and we’re just as strong as men.”
Stevens continued, “But I think more important is what we show to young women who might feel a little lost in these times, just to show them that you are not weak because of your mistakes. You draw strength from making mistakes.”
It’s also important, Stevens stated, “for females not to tear one another down and to lift one another up. I think that’s something our show portrays in a really beautiful light.”
Hardin commented that on television, “we really need more women to be represented in a way that actually is really the way women are, like what Katie was saying, women support women.”
“We all have women friends who are,” Hardin continued, “fully supportive of each other that hold us up, that don’t let us fall, that you call and have a meeting of the minds with, that’s represented really well on the show.”
Jacqueline, Hardin explains, is a character we don’t see often on television: “It’s so important to see a woman of power who is also a kind person, who is also a person who is trying to come from integrity, come from not from a manipulative, back-stabbing, bitchy place, but who truly, really considers herself a mentor.”
Hardin continued, “Women who have power, besides the bionic woman, are usually bitches, and that’s really the truth. You either have to be a superhero to have it all together or, you know, you’re an either or kind of person.”
When putting the show together, it was important to have Jacqueline be a caring mentor, not a Miranda Priestly. Watson stated, “You don’t have to be a backstabber, and you don’t have to be pushing the women around you down to succeed, and that’s incredibly important.”
Jacqueline is modeled after Joanna Coles.
Watson recalled meeting Coles for the first time: “I was so inspired, not just by her, I mean she’s obviously inspiring, but the other thing that was amazing is how her employees see her, and every woman I talked to at Cosmo, every man I talked to at Cosmo, has absolute reverence for her.”
Watson continued, stating Coles “is not a bitch. She is not harsh. She pushes her employees to be their best, and that’s the kind of mentors that I’ve been lucky to have, and that’s the kind of mentors we don’t often see on TV, and I feel like it’s really important to show women not to only strive to have that kind of mentor but to be those kinds of mentors.”
Hardin stated that, as a mentor, is someone who shows up “when you are asked or when someone is looking to you to show up for them, and I think that Jacqueline does that in a beautiful, beautiful way, and I really want young women to see that.”
Hardin hopes that young women will see Jacqueline and go, “I want to be that kind of boss or I want that kind of boss.”
“So when they have a boss that is not coming from integrity, whether it be a man or a woman,” Hardin continued, “they are able to say, ‘that’s not cool.’”
This doesn’t just go for bosses as well. Hardin hopes that young women look to Jane, Kat, and Sutton’s friendship to see how real friends should act and treat one another:
“And when they have a friend that is not supporting them the way these girls support each other, even when they go wrong, and even when they make a mistake or they have a fight or a disagreement because that happens, but you know that they go, ‘I want a friend like that and if I don’t have a friend like that, I’m going to cut them loose.’”
For Hardin, Jacqueline is extremely important to her because, like Jacqueline, Hardin is a mentor: “I actually consider myself a mentor in my real life, and I am a mentor in my real life. I have two daughters, but I also have young ladies that I mentor.”
Hardin continued, stating that mentorship is “so important. It is meaningful. It’s a big deal."
I’ll end with this moment from the roundtable.
A lot of the interviews at ATX Festival are held in a restaurant at the main hotel, so a lot of the one on ones and roundtables are at dining tables.
Just like at a regular restaurant, you could hear parts of other people’s interviews while conducting your own.
Shortly after starting the roundtable with Sarah Watson and Holly Whidden, a male journalist came over to tell us to be quiet because he was wrapping up an interview.
I guess he failed to notice that our table, a group of five female journalists and two female executive producers, was also conducting an interview.
After he left, Watson commented, “let’s pause to appreciate that a man just came over to tell us to be quiet… so that is why we’re doing this show.”
Catch The Bold Type two-hour premiere on Tuesday, July 11 at 9/8c on Freeform.