Orange Is The New Black Veterans Portrayal Gains Criticism

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Netflix series Orange is the New Black veterans portrayal gains criticism from an important demographic–the veterans. Veterans have called the portrayal to be quite offensive. Groups such as The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans of America and Disabled American Veterans have criticized the show for various reasons. It was all caused by the portrayal of the new veteran guards in the fourth season.

The fourth season showed the new veteran guards disparaging the inmates of Litchfield Penitentiary. According to Dan Clare through an ABC report, the national spokesman for Disabled American Veterans and also an Iraq war veteran called the portrayal egregious. He was referencing a scene in Orange is the New Black Season 4 finale wherein one guard told another guard a story about how he killed innocent people in Afghanistan. He said that after chasing so many bad guys you get bored to a point where you grab some farm kid to juggle some live grenades until one blows then you shoot him. This was to prevent him from growing up to be without limbs or to tell on you.

This was not appreciated by many veterans including Tahlia Burton of Task and Purpose, a site for analysis and commentary on veterans and military affairs. In Tahlia?s opinion piece, she said that Orange is the New Black portrays veterans as a ?cohort of bloodthirsty, heartless killers and sexists.?


She added that for a show that prides itself of realism, the show decided to use veterans to embody violent, sexist and inhumane behavior. It is also worthy to note that Tahlia is or was a fan of the show. This is something that she and other veterans do not appreciate at all. Clare shared that the danger of this is more ripe at the time when service members are coming back home and finding new jobs. Negative portrayal would affect the veterans transition back to civilian life.

What do you think of Orange is the New Black veteran portrayal? Is it fair or did they go too far in Season 4? Leave your thoughts below.

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