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may or may not be interesting... (hint, it's about orange is the new black)

sara.gladwin's picture

I was just sent this link by a friend-

Apparently Piper Kerman, the author of Orange is the New Black, announced on her twitter that she would be answering reader/viewer questions on reddit. Some of her answers/the conversation that was provoked seemed interesting so I thought I'd post the link here in case anyone wanted to read. IN particular, I wanted to post her answer to this question: "First of all, I have to say that I love that show, and love the book. But I have one big question. Do you think a women of color at Danbury would have had the opportunity to write a book & turn it into a successful TV show like you did?" (

Kerman responds: "I think inequality and white privilege are one of the big topics of the book. Racism is on stark display in the criminal justice system, whether you are talking about policing, prosecution, sentencing, or what happens to people during incarceration. Andrea James has written a book about her own experience in the same prison I was held in:

I also think this is true in terms of how mass media functions in the U.S. Jenji Kohan has described the character of Piper Chapman as her "Trojan horse", saying that she could not have successfully pitched a show about women of color, old women, poor women to any major media corporation. I'm not an expert on Hollywood, but that's her POV

It's my hope that the response to the show, and most especially to the range of characters, is evidence that there is a great deal of interest and appetite for much more diversity in media"

I think I wanted to post this because over and over again I have heard this excuse used to justify a white, middle class protagonist... that no other main character could have possibly been a successful way to present the show. I'm really questioning that line of thinking, especially because of how often I've heard it thrown around. It seems like it is becoming a passive and accepted line of thinking (or rather already was)... that when I have seen internet debates about this topic, this arguement has become the "answer" that halts any further pursuit/pushing into questioning the structure of the shows' characters. The other reason I wanted to post this was becuase I was wondering whether the book she had suggested might be something we could look into.