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Main Characters

     Jane Sloan 
Played by: Katie Stevens
A staff writer at Scarlet Magazine who is consistently challenged by her boss to find stories out of her comfort zone. Before her promotion, she was an assistant at the magazine for three years.

  • D-Cup Distress: In the second half of season 4, she struggles with some dysphoria when her breast-replacement surgery leaves her with a bigger chest.
  • In-Series Nickname: Sutton affectionately calls her "Tiny Jane."
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: When Jane finds out she has the BRCA1 gene that increases her risk of getting breast or ovarian cancer, preventative measures means she has to consider fertility options and whether she wants children or not sooner than most people her age.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: She and Sutton are comfortable enough with each other that Sutton doesn't feel weird about kissing Jane's breasts goodbye just before Jane goes in for a double mastectomy.

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     Kat Edison 
Played by: Aisha Dee

The Social Media Director at Scarlet who often finds herself at odds with the magazine's regressive policies. Prior to this position, she worked as an assistant at the company for two years.


  • But Not Too Black: Alex calls Kat out for feeling uncomfortable with identifying with being black. Later Kat reveals that she was worried that identifying as black would mean denying her white mother.
  • Casual Kink: In Season Four a man asks Kat to "peg" him. She does with a strap-on and realizes she likes it.
  • Coming-Out Story: Done in a relatively casual way. Kat's friends support her when she's figuring out her sexuality. Later on, when her parents meet Adena, she has already told them she's a woman beforehand, and they are very supportive. It takes her a while to feel comfortable with labels, but when she does, she eventually tells her friends she's bisexual.
  • Fake American: Aisha Dee is an Australian playing Kat, an American.
  • Granola Girl: Progressive and outspoken, Kat deeply cares about social and political issues. The Scarlet higher-ups consider her a clear example of the trope, and an annoying one at that.
  • Polyamory: In Season 4 she is in a casual throuple with a man and woman.
  • Really Gets Around: It's implied that she's this before meeting Adena. Definitely the case after she and Adena break up.
  • Rich Kid Turned Social Activist: Has a better safety net than her friends with her parents being well-off, and is very involved in social justice. Comes to a head in one episode of season two, where after talking to Jane about her white privilege she has to face that she has class privilege of her own.
  • Romance and Sexuality Separation: After a string of relationships with women that ended badly, Kat decides that what she needs is a relationship that's purely sex. Since there aren't many lesbians who'd be willing to put up with that, she ends up carrying on an affair with a guy, despite not being emotionally attracted to him. This sort of thinking eventually leads to her terrible decision to dump her next girlfriend, who she actually likes, in order to pursue an affair with Eva Rose, whose conservative politics repulse her enough that she assumes that it would never become serious. And it doesn't; she ends up being disgusted with herself.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: In season 4, she loses her job for leaking RJ's tax returns to the press, revealing the fact that he supports a homophobic politician. She has no regrets about this, feeling that people deserved to know the truth.
  • Secretly Wealthy: While all three main characters started out as assistants it is implied that Kat does not have to struggle like Jane and Sutton. Later when Jane loses her job temporarily Kat pays her rent. In season two, it is revealed that Kat grew up wealthy with psychiatrist parents. In season 4, her parents cut her off, pissed that she threw away her high-paying job at Scarlet to become an activist.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Among the executives at Safford, Kat has a reputation for being a liberal troublemaker. It finally gets her fired in season 4, after she steals and leaks a copy of RJ's tax returns to the press, revealing his support for a homophobic politician, which in turn leads to her having a lot of difficulty finding a new job.

     Sutton Brady 
Played by: Meghann Fahy

An assistant at Scarlet who struggles to make it in the fashion industry and catch up with her friends who have reached their career goals before her. Moves to the Fashion Department to pursue her true passion.


  • Ambiguously Bi: We never see her with a woman but she is not against kissing Jane's breasts before her surgery. She's excited to hear about Kat's sexual escapades and she's intrigued when Kat kisses her on the lips (platonically).
  • The Ace: Sutton has shades of this. She is the perfect assistant able to juggle multiple projects for Lauren and then Oliver. She can also shoot a gun, cooks well and is great at fashion design. Often Kat and Jane are saved by Sutton's ideas.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Sutton attends high tea to network for work, and does not realize that it's high tea. She eats several petits fours ("pot fours") before one of the other attendees notices and explains.
  • Determinator: Sutton is very driven and capable.
    • When she is faced with a problem of not having enough money for a location that Oliver wants for photoshoot she recreates the location using favors from friends and flea market purchases props.
    • She actively campaigns for higher pay and more benefits from Oliver until she secures it.
  • May–December Romance: Richard, the board member who Sutton dates and eventually married later on in the series is 15 years her senior.
  • Office Romance: Sutton is secretly having an affair with Richard, a Scarlet board member and attorney for the magazine's publishing firm. She breaks up with Richard and starts a short one with Alex, a Scarlet writer. Later she and Richard take their relationship public.
  • The Fashionista: Sutton comes from a poorer background than her friends but she knows everything about fashion and always looks good. She's aiming to become a fashion editor, takes a detour in Season 3 to try fashion design, and reaffirms the quest to become an editor.

     Jacqueline Carlyle 
Played by: Melora Hardin

Editor-in-chief of Scarlet magazine, she is a former decorated journalist and now power figure in publishing.


  • Benevolent Boss: Jacqueline is kinder and more thoughtful than similar characters of her type, and becomes a mentor to Jane specifically. Later on she extends her advice services to Kat and Sutton too.
  • Rape as Backstory: In the season finale of season one she reveals that she was the victim of sexual assault when she was younger.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Jacqueline tries this when an extended presidential dinner at a nearby restaurant forces a lockdown of the building. She calls the owner of the restaurant and tells him to send over the check. Unfortunately, it does not seem to have any actual effect on the time frame
  • The Fashionista: As editor of Scarlet she is a tastemaker, but she is also always impeccably dressed in designer fashions.

     Richard Hunter 

Played by: Sam Page

Richard is an in-house attorney for the publishing company Steinem, which publishes Scarlet magazine.


  • May–December Romance: With Sutton, who's 15 years his junior.
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: A rare male example. Richard wants to have a family, which becomes a discussion point in his and Sutton's relationship due to the age gap (he's 41 and she's late 20s) and Sutton being on the fence, as Richard doesn't want to wait till he's in his fifties to have children. When they get married they agree to freeze his sperm and have a five-year pause on pursuing parenthood. So after Sutton's unplanned pregnancy and miscarriage makes her realize she doesn't want children at all, he's not too happy and their fighting ends with him seemingly leaving her.
  • Office Romance: Sutton is secretly having an affair with Richard, a Scarlet board member and attorney for the magazine's publishing firm. Later she and Richard take their relationship public.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Richard wears a lot of sharp, well tailored suits.

     Alex Crawford 

Played by: Matt Ward

He is a writer for Scarlet magazine.


  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Alex and Sutton have a strong friendship and pursue a short-lived relationship until Alex realizes she was still in love with her ex, Richard Hunter, and lets her go.
  • Office Romance: Sutton and Alex have a good friendship. Later they start a short relationship in season one.
  • Out of Focus: At some points, Alex only exists to pop up and be a sounding board for Jane or a companion for Sutton. He becomes slightly more in focus when he becomes Jane's roommate in season three.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Alex is one of the taller men on the show, dark skinned and handsome.
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     Adena El-Amin 

Played by: Nikohl Boosheri

Adena is an out and proud Muslim lesbian artist and photographer from Iran, visiting New York City for her gallery debut.


  • Artists Are Attractive: Kat sure thinks so.
  • Art Reflects Personality: Sutton mentions Adena's portfolio being very conceptual. Adena herself is sensitive and perceptive, and not afraid to think outside-of-the-box.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Adena is an unorthodox person, especially as a coworker, but she is a very talented photographer nonetheless.
  • Closet Key: She is this for Kat.
  • Eccentric Artist: When she comes in as the photographer for a Scarlet photoshoot, she immediately dismisses the instructions to stick to the rules and starts trying to elevate the concept.
  • Granola Girl: Has shades of this, much like Kat. Her bio reads Proud Muslim Lesbian and she’s very opinionated, being very progressive and outspoken.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: A mild example: while she's not extroverted or particularly upbeat, her sensitivity and quirkiness inspire Kat to view the world in a different light.
  • Sage Love Interest: Adena is deep and artistic, with an unusual outlook. There's a moment where Kat is on a date with a guy and his indifference to a violinist that had deeply moved Adena caused Kat to realize that she doesn't want a relationship with someone as shallow as that.
  • Savvy Girl, Energetic Girl: Although not cynical as many examples of the trope, Adena is far less sociable and active than Kat is.
  • Starving Artist: Downplayed. Even though she doesn't seem to have money problems given how often she travels, Kat had to ask Sutton to get her a job so she could stay in the country with her working VISA.
  • Twofer Token Minority: An immigrant muslim lesbian.

     Oliver Grayson 
Played by:Stephen Conrad Moore

He is the Head of the Fashion Department at Scarlet Magazine and hired Sutton Brady to be his assistant after three years at Lauren's desk.


  • Bald of Awesome
  • Benevolent Boss: While he first comes off as tough, he later becomes a mentor to Sutton.
  • Brutal Honesty: He's usually pretty blunt about his opinions.
  • Country Mouse: Reveals to Sutton he was once this.
    "I’ll deny it to anyone who asks, don’t even think of calling Page Six. But, underneath these designer clothes, I’m small town Oklahoma. No fancy fashion degree, no Ivy League college."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Often is very dry in his conversations with Jacqueline and Sutton.

Recurring Characters

     Lauren Park 
Played by:Emily C. Chang

The executive editor of Scarlet.


     Patrick Duchand 
Played by:Peter Vack

the new head of Scarlet magazine's digital department in Season Three


  • Mean Boss: In contrast to Jacqueline and Oliver, Patrick is less supportive of his staff. He assigns Alex a new column without discussing how Alex feels about the idea, often blindsides Kat and Jane with no support and tries to pressure Jane into writing about her egg freezing plans despite it being a personal medical issue.
    • Subverted in that he also supports Kat's run for City Council, but it is in part to grow followers for Scarlet.
  • Graceful Loser: When Jacqueline gets her job back in Season 4, Patrick decides to resign from Scarlet. When she tells him she's still willing to have him on board, he counters she doesn't need his help running the now digital-only magazine and admits he never truly fit in at Scarlet the way she does.

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     Ryan Decker 
Played by:Dan Jeannotte

A top sex columnist for "Pinstripe magazine," He becomes a freelance writer, and Jane's love interest until midway through season 4.


  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Everybody calls him "Pinstripe" or "Pinstripe Guy" because he works at ''Pinstripe Magazine." This continues even after he and Jane start dating.
  • Spear Counterpart: When Jane first begins to date Ryan, Sutton and Kat talk about how he is Jane's mirror image.

     Ben Chau 
Played by:Luca James Lee

He is a doctor at a women's health center who also runs a free clinic and a love interest for Jane in season 2.


  • Awesome Aussie: Subverted. Ben has his actor's natural Australian accent and he's presented as confident and masculine but he's very sensitive, thoughtful and supportive and defies the Aussie stereotype.
  • Romantic False Lead: It seems like Ben will be the supportive, loyal boyfriend Jane needs after Ryan, but she goes to Paris and next season she starts to reconcile to Ryan and Ben is out of the picture.

     Tia Clayton 
Played by:Alexis Floyd

Tia was Kat's campaign manager and love interest in Season 3.


  • Black and Nerdy: She has shades of this. She's very smart, especially about politics, but is more socially awkward than Kat in other settings.
  • Romantic False Lead: It seems like Tia will be the fiery, supportive new girlfriend Kat needs after Adina and a few casual relationships, but ultimately Kat dumps her for Adina.
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