Orange Is The New Black Essay

1593 Words Oct 6th, 2016 7 Pages
Orange is the New Black (OITNB) is a Netflix original web series created by Jenji Kohan and adapted from the memoir of Piper Kerman, Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison (2010), which explores life inside a women’s prison system. The series includes a diverse cast of historically excluded Black, Latina, and transgender actresses. How do they create seemingly groundbreaking media based on the controversial world of prison systems in a time when inequality is perpetuated by institutionalized racism: a time when the likelihood of black women going to prison is 1 in 18, while for the white women it is 1 in 111 (The Sentencing Project). Race is a determining factor in how institutionalized systems in our society affect individuals. Black and Brown women are not only marginalized in the prison system, but media representation as well. How far do producers of OITNB push the envelope of race within the narrative by use of a diverse cast? On OITNB’s official Facebook page, producers describe the show as one that:
...follow(s) Piper Chapman as she trades her designer jeans for an orange prison jumpsuit. Starring Taylor Schilling as Piper, a Smith graduate whose decade-old love affair with drug smuggler Alex (Laura Prepon) leads to her arrest and year-long detention within the walls of a women 's penitentiary. Piper leaves behind her fiancé Larry (Jason Biggs) to serve her time "inside" with an eccentric group of outspoken inmates, each with her own story and her own…

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