Whenever a network trots out a new show based on real life, the first question people have is what, exactly, is true? Freeform's new drama, The Bold Type, is no exception. The show is loosely inspired by iconic women's mag Cosmopolitan, which executive producer Joanna Coles helmed as editor-in-chief for roughly four years. Melora Hardin stars as Coles' on-screen counterpart, Jacqueline Carlyle, but what about the other characters? Is Richard Hunter based on a real person? (Bustle reached out to Freeform for comment, but has not yet received a reply.)
First, some context. The Bold Type centers around Scarlet, essentially the TV version of Cosmo, where Jacqueline heads up a team of young, tenacious women eager to further their careers: Jane, a newly promoted writer determined to find her footing; Sutton, an assistant with much larger aspirations; and Kat, Scarlet's social media director who's angling for more content that digs deeper than traditional sex and fashion content.
Richard is a hotshot corporate type played by Sam Page. He's a member of the Scarlet board of directors and a lawyer for the publishing group, and as far as roles go, he's in familiar territory: A handsome executive engaged in a clandestine affair with a young assistant.
Coles has been open about the fact that she pulled anecdotes for the show from across her 30-plus year career, including both her tenure at Cosmo and the various media positions that came before it. But she told Bustle during the Freeform Upfronts that "lots of HR infractions" (which likely includes this office romance) "were mainly based on my days on Fleet Street, not on my days at [Cosmopolitan's publishing company] Hearst."
Over Coles' 30-year career she's likely met a lot of Richard Hunter-esque people, so if he is based on a real person we're not ever likely to know who. So, for all intents and purposes, Richard Hunter is just a fictional character played by Sam Page who is bringing an office romance to life on screen.