I have a confession to make: I’m a season behind on Orange is the New Black. Not as in I haven’t had a chance to sit down and binge watch season 4 yet, I mean it was a spoiler to me that Poussey and Soso are a couple.
Now I’m not upset by the spoilers. In fact like with most shows I tend to use spoilers to find out whether or not to continue to spend time on a series and while perusing Tumblr I found some folks talking about Daya’s character.
The gist of the spoiler is that Daya has some very nasty say about Afrolatinxs, which upset a lot of people since the actress Dascha Polanco identifies as Afrolatina.
Now ever since season one I’ve been confused by how the Latinas have been characterized on the show. To be honest, I’ve been confused about how almost all of the women of color on the show are characterized. The show seemed to take an inordinate amount of time to even acknowledge Blackness in some of them and when it did, the references seemed half-assed. In season two, they talk about how slaves in the Caribbean hid their magic in Catholicism as if it were an answer on TriviaCrack. So I’m not exactly shocked that the show may or may not portray race among Latinxs well.
I expressed my concern, hoping some folks would let me know if it was worth continuing the show or if I should let my memory of the show stay preserved in season two. I got a response from someone who posed a question: If we expected Women of Color to be perfect in every representation, would we have no Women of Color in media?
I know, this seems facetious, but it’s a valid question. There are plenty of things that I’ve passed on because of how terrible their representation of Black women was. And while there are plenty of shows that I watch that are problematic, just because I can enjoy them doesn’t mean they’re above critique.
So while I’m not sure yet if I’m going to keep watching OITNB I do hope that even if I don’t the show keeps being critiqued, because that’s how the representation gets better.