avoidance and misrepresentations of LGBTQ characters on
television and in other mass media is one way to make progress for
future societies to come.
Another reason is because of the way we interpret the
realities of other people especially those of marginalized groups.
We cannot continue to be the America that translates “Black Lives
Matter” to “All Lives Matter.” Instead, we must begin to
understand intersectionality and recognizes that each group’s
struggle is a different one even if some oppressive structures are
similar. Orange is the New Black uses individual characters to
celebrate various marginalized groups and highlights aspects of
daily life that are harsh realities for many people: racist comments
and abusive from correctional officers; verbal and physical assault
because of gender identification; and assumptions about personal
character and moral beliefs because of one’s sexuality. Through
portraying these situations, viewers see a new reality for individuals
they may not otherwise consider, which starts the conversation or,
at least, the thought process that can lead to understanding and
change. Additionally, Orange is the New Black shows that diverse
characters can be well-represented on television series without
sacrificing popularity. After the first season of the series, the
narrative focus shifts from Piper to a broader representation of
people in the ensemble cast, and many of these characters enjoy
significant storylines within the collective social space. This
representation is a radical portrayal of some real aspects of
American life that contrasts sharply with mainstream media’s
straight, white history, a history of shows that rarely discuss these
issues in substantive ways. Furthermore, it is worth noting that this
show has been wildly popular on Netflix; although the streaming
service does not reveal precise numbers of viewers, it has noted
that more people watch the series than another popular offering,
House of Cards (Wallenstein).Why, then, can’t Orange is the New Black
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