Comedian Amanda Seales has gone viral several times throughout her 20-year career. One instance came during an intense exchange with reality star Caitlyn Jenner during Katy Perry’s four-day live stream in June 2017.
The “Insecure” star, the only Black woman among the guests, delivered the ultimate clap back and lesson after the former Olympian described her as hostile. Seales shared with Jenner the differences she experiences as a Black woman in America, although the former athlete appeared seemingly hesitant to accept the harsh reality she described.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 12: Amanda Seales (HBO Insecure) during her game show at The Apollo Theater on November 12, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Shahar Azran/Getty Images)
During a recent appearance on “The Accidental Activist” podcast with host Isha Sesay, the 40-year-old spoke about how the viral moment kick-started her journey into activism.
“I can tell you the exact accidental activism point that took place in my life, that completely pivoted me from simply a comedian/actor/producer who is an advocate to someone who people look to as an activator,” the former child star shared. “June 17th, 2017. When I did a dinner with Katy Perry, that Caitlin Jenner was at,” she added.
“I was brought to this dinner for this purpose. Like they had specifically said, we want you to come because we feel like if we don’t have someone like you, everyone is simply gonna just be polite, whether they agree or disagree, and that’s not the point.”
At one point in Seales and Jenner’s exchange, the conversation turned political, “I was squeezing my nails into my hand to quell my rage at the level of idiocy that was being presented by Caitlin Jenner in defense of Donald J. Trump being a good president and a good person. So I was having to like really just deep breath.”
While reflecting on that dinner, Seales said Black women “are always denied the right to be angry, and we do it to each other as well. You know? And it’s not healthy. But to your point, after that Caitlin Jenn thing, people kept being like, ‘Oh, you handled that so calmly. And with such poise, and I was like, f–k that. I wish I could have had a dashiki and Afro and turned that mother out. I should have flipped the table.”
Elsewhere, the actress opened up about her exit from “The Real” daytime talk show in 2020, just six months after joining as a permanent co-host. She claims that there was a lack of representation and diversity in the production. She also said she felt the show was unauthentic. “We weren’t being given space. We weren’t even being given the trust of knowing our own experience and our fan base’s experience to be able to speak to it,” she claimed.
She added, “And so there were all of these working parts going on behind the scenes that in essence devalued and depreciated and disparaged the voices of all of these women who are on television representing this show, and for what it’s worth, kind of speaking to their unique experiences within their ethnic base.”