Abstract Title

Orange Is the New White: A Look Into the Popular and Deceptively Racist Television Series

individual

Authors' Class Standing

Victoria Christiano, Sophomore

Lead Presenter's Name

Victoria Christiano

Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Libbie Searcy

Abstract

I intend to incorporate a discussion on the Netflix drama Orange is the New Black, that I initiated in a paper written about the lack of representation of black female sexuality in the show. The paper explores the adverse trend that has been created with the emergence of more modern and nuanced characters in our television shows. As viewers, our focus has shifted to extremely progressive ideas, so often we miss the casual racism that continues to prevail. The show, Orange Is the New Black is extremely progressive in its many portrayals of female sexuality, but when closely examined, there is a notable lack of representation of the black character’s sexuality. My research centers around the main black female characters: Poussey, Suzanne, Sophia, and Taystee. I explore how they have been portrayed in a way that leaves the viewer with a skewed perception of black female sexuality. My goal is to foster a conversation about instances of this misrepresentation, and lack of representation. Additionally, I’d like to show how advertising of the show has allowed certain stereotypes to bleed into the ‘real world.’

Did this research project receive funding support (Spark or Ignite Grants) from the Office of Undergraduate Research?

Yes, Spark Grant

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Orange Is the New White: A Look Into the Popular and Deceptively Racist Television Series

I intend to incorporate a discussion on the Netflix drama Orange is the New Black, that I initiated in a paper written about the lack of representation of black female sexuality in the show. The paper explores the adverse trend that has been created with the emergence of more modern and nuanced characters in our television shows. As viewers, our focus has shifted to extremely progressive ideas, so often we miss the casual racism that continues to prevail. The show, Orange Is the New Black is extremely progressive in its many portrayals of female sexuality, but when closely examined, there is a notable lack of representation of the black character’s sexuality. My research centers around the main black female characters: Poussey, Suzanne, Sophia, and Taystee. I explore how they have been portrayed in a way that leaves the viewer with a skewed perception of black female sexuality. My goal is to foster a conversation about instances of this misrepresentation, and lack of representation. Additionally, I’d like to show how advertising of the show has allowed certain stereotypes to bleed into the ‘real world.’