The internet is full of spoilers, especially if you’re as obsessed with watching TV shows and movies as I am. I’ve had the ending of things ruined for me several times, including when (spoiler alert) Derek Shepard died in Grey’s Anatomy. Still angry about that one.
Most recently, I’ve had the end of Orange is the New Black spoiled for me. I watched up to half way into the second to last episode of the 4th season and because of posts I saw on Facebook and Tumblr, I found out one of my favorite characters in the history of me watching TV shows gets killed. I didn’t even watch the fuckin episode and I cried. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that she was killed. She had been making so much progress and growth as a character. I pictured her getting out of prison early because of good behavior because she was doing so well and staying out of trouble.
When I first discovered this show, I thought it was awesome because of the diversity in the characters and the fact that it somewhat addresses systemic racism, misogyny, white privilege, and transphobia. There were certain aspects of the show that I didn’t like (basically any time Piper was on the screen), but I was so invested in the stories of the women of color, I didn’t care.
But then I found out that the writers of the show are mostly white.
The Fusion article, “Go ahead, guess how many black writers work on ‘Orange Is the New Black,” written by Isha Aran, states “Of the 16 people who have writing credits on all four seasons of the show, one is Latino and one is Asian.” A group of people are writing about the lives of women of color, including a good amount of black women, and there are no black writers.
According to the NAACP website, “African American and Hispanics comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008, even though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately one quarter of the US population.” The website also states that 1 in 100 black women are in prison.
I have this feeling in my heart that there is probably a black woman, somewhere out there, who has experience with prison or knows about prison and who just so happens to be a writer.
As a black bisexual woman who aspires to be a writer, I believe the storyline for the 4th season of this show was half-assed, especially given the current state of our country. There are so many people like me, who aspire to write about our experiences, but are never given a chance to. It was hard to watch women I have grown to love get ridiculed and called horrible names. It was hard for me to watch the white guard stand idly by as a Nazi group formed. The nazi sympathizing was disgusting and honestly one of the main reasons I have been turned off by this show.
Maybe I’m just weird and get too attached to characters that are obviously fictional. I still believe the media needs more shows like anything Empire, black-ish, The Fosters, Jane the Virgin, Master of None, and Shonda Rhimes creates because their audiences are just as diverse. Whether or not people think those who are upset over the show are just obsessive fangirls, the criticism of the show is valid.
To find out more on diversity in Hollywood, check out.