With the recent amount of progress in the LGBT community, from SCOTUS making same-sex marriage a right to the Boy Scouts ending its ban on gay leaders, the castmembers of Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black spoke about how they’ve been on the cusp of this revolution.
Lea DeLaria, who plays Carrie “Big Boo” Black on the Netflix series, said today during the series TCA panel: “What we’ve done is a large part of the LGBT community getting rights, fighting for rights and achieving our rights. It’s been about winning the hearts and the minds of people, and Orange Is The New Black has been an important part of what has happened in our community.”
The openly gay comedienne shared a story with the TCA press corps of how her life has changed since Orange Is The New Black.
“I live in Bushwick, a ghetto in Brooklyn, and an 80-year-old woman came up to me pushing her teenage granddaughter toward me. Five years ago, that would never happen. It’s an amazing turn of events, and I give it completely up to Orange in that respect.”
Added Natasha Lyonne, aka Nicky Nichols, “It’s an extraordinary, profound show to be on that human level; we’re thrilled that we got to be part of this moment and time, being these proxy representatives of things we believe in.”
When it came to an intense scene where Selenis Leyva (Gloria Mendoza) had to “get ugly with Laverne Cox,” Leyva took extra care with the drama in the scene: “I have a transgender sister myself. I had to say things that might be in a fight on a daily basis. It was a hard scene to do, particularly so that I didn’t offend her. The scene had to be done in a way as to educate, rather than foster more hate. I had a conversation with (OITNB creator) Jenji (Kohan) that I didn’t want Gloria to be the villain.”
One reporter observed that in the wake of OITNB, more TV shows are adding LGBT characters. Added Leyva about the series’ impact: “We’re showing the world that it’s OK to have different women and people represented. Netflix has been bold. We started a trend, and that trend is to be diverse — to be a butch, to be a Latina — we started something.”
The cast mentioned that they’ve been in production on Season 4 since June 15. Also appearing on stage today were Taylor Schilling (Piper Chapman), Uzo Aduba (Crazy Eyes) and Taryn Manning (Tiffany Doggett).