Welcome To The Bitchery

Vox has a good piece today about OITNB and the way Latina characters are portrayed on television. I don't watch the show, but I thought it was worth a read anyway.

"Hollywood, had a stereotype and maybe I didn't fit it correctly," Orange's Cruz said, explaining the roles seems to be limited to sexy girls, hookers, and girlfriends (there's actually a Modern Family episode where the running joke is that Gloria ran a brothel). That kind of typecasting made it hard for Cruz to find parts.

"[Orange creator] Jenji [Kohan] created someone like me," Cruz said. "Because there are people like me."

The character that Kohan, the creator of the show, brought to life is Marisol Gonzalez a.k.a. Flaca — Litchfield's resident hipster. Flaca, with her heavy bangs and Winehouse-like eyeliner, likes the Smiths more than reggaeton, dates a boy named Ian who rides a Vespa, and has a knack for copy-editing, which she displays when she volunteers to edit the prison's newsletter. And Cruz has carved out a place for herself and Flaca in this second season, delivering nimble and airy humor while maintaining Flaca's keen edge.

Seeing a Latina who likes the Smiths on a critically-acclaimed television show seems like a such small thing or a minute tweak. And it might be hard to understand why Flaca's musical taste matters unless you've grown up watching television shows where no one looks like or behaves like you.


Share This Story

Get our newsletter