Jenji Kohan, the writer behind this summer’s hit Netflix series “Orange is the New Black”, on writing about race and getting the industry to watch:
You’re not going to go into a network and sell a show on really fascinating tales of black women, and Latina women, and old women and criminals. But if you take this white girl, this sort of fish out of water, and you follow her in, you can then expand your world and tell all of those other stories. But it’s a hard sell to just go in and try to sell those stories initially. The girl next door, the cool blonde, is a very easy access point, and it’s relatable for a lot of audiences and a lot of networks looking for a certain demographic. It’s useful.
It’s a tactic that’s definitely proved successful, first with “Weeds” and now with “Orange is the New Black.”