Enck, S. M., & Morrissey, M. E. (2015). If Orange Is the New Black , I Must Be Color Blind: Comic Framings of Post-Racism in the Prison-Industrial Complex. Critical Studies In Media Communication, 32(5), 303-317. doi:10.1080/15295036.2015.1086489
The acclaimed Netflix original series, Orange Is the New Black ( OITNB) assembles a cast of characters representing a large swath of the population normally excluded from popular, mainstream television, including women of color, lower-class women, and queer/trans* women. Within the “tribal” organization of the fictitious Litchfield prison, the show's protagonist, Piper Chapman, naively struggles to understand the overt racialization of her new surroundings. Deploying a Burkean understanding of the comic frame, we argue that the first season of OITNB encourages audience identification primarily through the show's white, educated, upper-class central figure. Specifically, through Piper's animation of a comic corrective, OITNB enables poignant but limited critiques of U.S. post-racial fantasies (including myths of color blindness and racial equality) that so powerfully buttress the Prison-Industrial Complex.