When women are bosses, their positions can be interpreted in two ways: 1) As an inspiration for younger women to strive for greatness and 2) As a figure of authority. Women often have to demand the respect of their workers because, unfortunately, some people won't respect them in a position of power.
That's where the "cold boss" stigma comes in, and women bosses are seen as "nasty," "rude" or other degrading terms. Kari Matchett somewhat played that type of boss on Covert Affairs. She was Joan Campbell, the immediate supervisor to newly promoted CIA trainee Annie Walker (Piper Perabo).
In the series' early episodes, viewers saw the cold side of Campbell, but it didn't bother Matchett as much because she was conscious about expanding the character.
"The writers and creators certainly are interested in having multi-dimensional characters, and that's a phrase I used with them often from the beginning," she told The Sun Times in 2011. "Sometimes a woman boss, or any boss, has to be strong and has to be clear, and that can be misinterpreted as being a b***h."
She added, "But as the first season goes on, Joan has more layers and other dimensions coming in." Joan Campbell was probably the most serious character in Covert Affairs. According to the article in the newspaper, one of the things that helped writers "lighten" up the character was her marriage with Arthur Campbell (Peter Gallagher), which intertwined with her professional life.
It was vital for the creators to develop Campbell and Matchett to speak up about the importance of the boss being multi-dimensional, especially as an actress.
As the seasons went on, viewers witnessed Campbell's growth as a character, and she even became a fan favorite.
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