Danielle Brooks Says This Season Of OINTB Tackles Police Brutality

Photo: Cara Howe/Netflix.
After last season's intense finale, it looks like fans can expect Orange Is the New Black to turn a little darker.
While past seasons have focused on more lighthearted fare — an underground panty ring, anyone? — the show's stars say that this time around, the Litchfield Penitentiary crew isn't exactly going to be reveling in the lake.
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Danielle Brooks, who plays Taystee, told Vanity Fair that the production of season 5 will mirror the Black Lives Matter movement and incorporate the death of Eric Garner, who died in July 2014.
"This season we are giving a voice to the voiceless, especially to the people who have lost their lives to police brutality," Brooks told Vanity Fair at the show's NYC premiere party. "Even though our story is fictional, we are trying to give a realistic glimpse of what it’s like to lose somebody you love in a similar situation and to reflect the climate of our country. There's a lot of human injustices happening right now, but I feel you can make a difference just by raising your voice. Like my character, who doesn’t even know how to use an iPad, people really can still find ways to fight for what they feel is right. You can add beauty to this world in your own way."
Another change to the show comes in this season's format. Instead of stretching the entire season out over a year or a few months, season 5's 13 episodes will be focusing on the three days right after last season's finale.
So, not to spoil things, but according to Brooks, the fallout from season 4 is going to be intense. Fans who haven't watched the show just yet — it's available to stream right now — can probably connect the dots when it comes to police brutality and last season's shocking conclusion. But in true OITNB fashion, there will undoubtedly be a few unexpected events, too. While it's tough to tackle something as heavy as the Black Lives Matter movement in a TV show (sorry, Scandal, but that episode didn't really work), if one can do it without veering into sugar-coated territory, it's definitely Orange Is the New Black.
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