5 Things We Learned About Amanda Seales’ ‘Club Shay Shay’ Interview

5 Things We Learned About Amanda Seales’ ‘Club Shay Shay’ Interview

Source: Craig Barritt / Getty

Amanda Seales acquired a reputation for being aggressive and difficult, but on a recent episode of former football tight end Shannon Sharpe’s podcast Club Shay Shay, the actress set the record straight. The 3-hour and 10-minute interview allowed the Smart Funny & Black creator to open up regarding her time on Insecure, her recent autism diagnosis, and how she deals with the labels the industry assigned to her.

*Editor’s note– Despite Seales saying, “I was just recently diagnosed (with Autism Spectrum Disorder),” a clip from an Instagram Live has resurfaced where the actress says she has not been clinically diagnosed with autism by a doctor. It is unclear if the live occurred before her diagnosis or if she self-diagnosed.

Seales contributed over 30 years to the entertainment industry. In 1993, she made her first movie appearance with a small role in Cop and a Half. The following year, she joined the cast of the Nickelodeon sitcom, My Brother and Me. She eventually landed a gig as the VJ of MTV2’s Sucker Free Countdown. But her most notable role came in 2016 when she joined season one of Insecure as Tiffany DuBois, the bougie homegirl to Issa Dee’s (played by Issa Rae) unique friend group, which included Molly Carter, played by Yvonne Orji, and Kelli, played by Natasha Rothwell.

Has Amanda Seales become the entertainment industry’s favorite villain?

For five seasons, fans watched the dynamic group of ladies from Insecure navigate the ups and downs of careers, relationships and friendships. As we witnessed the crumbling of the Issa and Molly empire play out onscreen, things seemed just as tumultuous behind the scenes. Rumors began to circulate, labeling Seales as problematic, defiant and challenging to work with—but we’ll come back to this later.

Seales embodies the passion of our greatest ancestors. But her strong voice, backed by her Master’s degree in African American studies with a concentration in Hip-Hop from Columbia University, villainized her as a militant, angry Black woman. When she used her platform to advocate for Black people and our rights, or simply shared her opinion on various topics, people found her delivery hard to digest because it was curt, direct and wrapped in passion—often mischaracterized as aggression.

Rumors of Seales being difficult to work with started before Insecure. In 2007, her short stint in the classic R&B group, Floetry, dissolved before she could thrive as Natalie Stewart’s replacement. Fans weren’t informed about the switch-up, so when Seales popped up on tour with Marsha Ambrosius, she was met with a disgruntled welcome. In an interview with The Breakfast Club, she explains that she felt unsupported as fans protested her position as the new member. She finished the tour but ultimately left the group because it wasn’t a good fit.

In 2019, Seales appeared as a guest host of the daytime talk show The Real. This felt like a great fit for the actress because it provided her the space to voice her opinions and dissect current events in pop culture. Seales became a permanent co-host in 2020, but six months later she left the show because she felt stifled.

Source: Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty

“It doesn’t feel good to my soul to be at a place where I can not speak to my people the way they need to be spoken to,” she said in an Instagram Live video. “And where the people that are speaking to me in despairing ways are not being handled.”

She continued, “I’m not at a space where, as a full black woman, I can have my voice and my co-workers also have their voices, and where the people at the top are not respecting the necessity for black voices to be at the top, too.”

Amanda Seales’ vulnerable side shines bright in the Club Shay Shay interview

The world has become comfortable with silencing Black voices, specifically ones who aren’t fearful of repercussions. Seales’ revolutionary spirit makes people uncomfortable, and her innate instinct to stand up for what she believes in, even if she is standing alone, is how she’s earned the title of being challenging. In her Club Shay Shay interview, we see a different side of the Insecure actress, who is notoriously misunderstood due to her passion, delivery and authenticity. 

I learned so much about the author, actress, media personality, podcaster, poet, advocate and comedian; particularly her patience, exemplified during the moments when Sharpe could not fully understand Seales’ perspective or empathize with her experience. Even in the seemingly safe space provided for her to clear the air, the actress handled miscommunications with grace and patience. She proves that no matter your tone, people may have already committed to misunderstanding you.

If you have 3 hours and 10 minutes to spare, you can catch the full interview here. If not, here are five things we learned from Amanda Seales’ interview with Shannon Sharpe.

5 Things We Learned About Amanda Seales’ Club Shay Shay Interview

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