Photo Courtesy of Netflix; Found Here
The uproar around Orange Is The New Black was expected on Black Twitter. While some took to binge watching the entire season when it released on June 17th. Others took to platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to voice their opinions about the latest season of OITNB. The backlash from the season sent many up in arms, not only about the content of the show but as well about the writers and if the narrative of People of Color specifically, black folks was accurately done this time around.
This season the people of color that dominate the show went through some pretty serious trials this season, specifically with the death of fan favorite Poussey. The death of Poussey, sparked conversations not only about the Black Lives Matter Movement but the reality of violence against people of color in prison. For many on Twitter, the issue fell upon the fact that some viewers felt like the writers of the series used the BLM Movement as a way to keep viewers. Was the death of Poussey a genuine story line? How authentic was that episode?
A snapshot of the all white writers room post production didn't help at all.
Photo Courtesy of Twitter
Also, Laverne Cox’s character, Sophia went through it this semester. From being removed from Litchfield and being taken down to solitary confinement, the SHU was not a good place for Sophia. She became suicidal and delusional while in solitary, something Cox says is a reality for Trans Women of Color in prison. The season ends with Sophia returning back to Litchfield and dealing with coming back to reality and navigating how to heal her friendship with Gloria.
The season left a lot of OITNB’s audience with a bitter taste in their mouths. Many left like the death and violence that people of color face in prison was used as a bargaining chip to keep people watching. Some felt as if the issue of police brutality could have been handled more accurately with a writers room that included more people of color. Either way the season brought its to be expected amazing acting and cliff hanger ending but will the narrative be more authentic next time?
From viewing the episodes and all the cast commentary and even writer's room commentary, I'm hoping that next season might be more comprehensive and more ethical to the reality of People of Color and their real life experiences in state institutions. Hopefully next season brings us even more drama, scandal and good scamming, in the words of Joanne the Scammer.
Only Season 5 of OITNB can tell.
Written by Clarissa Brooks