If you’ve caught the latest season of Netflix’s female prison comedy-drama, you may agree with Diane Guerrero and Jackie Cruz (who play Maritza and Flaca, respectively), who have suggested that Orange Is the New Black is actually a representation of what is going on in the world.
Warning: There are Season 5 spoilers below, so proceed at your own risk.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve already binge-watched all of Season 5 of Orange Is the New Black on Netflix. And you’ll know all about the deleted scene with Piscatella, and that the show ended on a major cliffhanger.
Fans of OITNB know how well the show mirrors social problems and injustices happening in the U.S. both within and outside of prison walls.
Indeed, speaking to Teen Vogue, Jackie Cruz — who plays Flaca i.e. Marisol Gonzalez on the show — has said that when she first received the scripts for Season 5, she almost couldn’t believe that things like riots and structural brutality went on in prisons IRL.
“This is unbelievable. This can’t really happen in real life. And then Danielle [Brooks aka Taystee] sends us through a group text that something like this actually happened recently in a prison where the prisoners took over the prison because of the way they were being mistreated,” she said. “This is reality, and no matter how much it is a TV show, it represents what’s happening in the world right now and these things need to be talked about, and we have to bring awareness to the prison system.”
The actresses discussed how, in the new season, many of the prison factions had to come together for a common cause, something that should be replicated in the real world.
“I mean we needed to unite in order to survive what was going on, because if we didn’t find that commonality or commonalities, then we wouldn’t have survived,” says Guerrero of the characters on the show. “And I think that it’s such a commentary on what is going on in our country. We’re so divisive at this very moment.”
Meanwhile, ahead of the show’s fifth season premiere earlier this month, showrunner Jenji Kohan told The New York Times that she was considering ending the popular drama after its seventh season (which, coincidentally, is how long the show has been commissioned for by Netflix).
Hopefully we’ll get to find out what ultimately happens to the inmates we know and love as Orange Is the new Black continues in its next two seasons.