To Diggy Simmons, Grown-ishTelevision is just one aspect of a reality show.

As he explained during CelebHomes News’ The Ones To Watch: Black Voices Celebrating, the Freeform series doesn’t gloss over real-life issues like racism, police brutality and mental health struggles, but instead, approaches them in a way that allows the show to “serve as therapy” for viewers.

Consider, for example: Grown-ish‘s recent recreation of 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests, which Simmons described as “beautiful” and “nuanced,” especially with regards to his character Doug, who was hesitant to engage with the movement and was ultimately dubbed “a bad Black person” by Kiella (Daniella Perkins).

Simmons stated that the most important responsibility was to ensure that Simmons’ heart is in the right place. “There are many people who feel what Doug felt in the script. But in real life. After seeing all these elements, I simply wanted to be sure there was authentic emotion and I was putting myself in a place where it could come through on screen for people to see.