Members of the cast of “Orange Is The New Black” discussed the serious aspects of their show and what commentary it provides on the prison and mental health systems in the U.S.
“We see over and over again that there is a corrupt system that criminalizes people for sometimes just being who they are,” explains actress and trans advocate Laverne Cox. “So many trans people are criminalized for being trans.”
“When you were perceived as a black man, you were — you were seen as a public threat,” adds Melissa Harris-Perry. “And then once you’re perceived as a transwoman, then the threat is to you…that idea that your body shifts from being the threat to being threatened because of our assumptions about what this body is.”
“Absolutely and street harassment is something that’s been a huge part of my story as a transwoman,” continues Cox. “Every day I thought about CeCe [McDonald] in prison…I could be her. She was walking down the street going to the grocery store and these racists and transphobic slurs hurled at them and someone ended up dead and it was assumed she must be the criminal because she’s black and trans and in prison. Stand Your Ground doesn’t apply for trans [people] of color.”
Peep the clip below.