Created by Jenji Kohan and adapted from the memoir by Piper Kerman, "OITNB" has irrevocably changed the notions of what a television series about women, made by women, looks like. And according to the "Orange" cast, it's time for networks and Hollywood studios to follow suit.
MTV News caught up with the cast of "Orange Is the New Black" at Orange Con ahead of the third season's release, and they told us what needs to be done to get more women in positions of power in Hollywood.
"It starts with this," Samira Wiley (Poussey) said. "It starts with people seeing what we're doing and saying, 'Oh, this works. Maybe I can take the risk and do that.'"
"Orange Is the New Black" undoubtedly busted the glass ceiling for diversity, but despite Kohan's success, women are still statistically less likely helm their own shows, especially on network television. Even worse, only 1.9 percent of the 100 top-grossing films from 2013 and 2014 were directed by women. One. Point. Nine.
That being said, the landscape has started to shift, ever so slightly, for women in television since Netflix premiered "Orange" in 2013.
"The biggest thing for all producers, all executives and all the studios out there was, 'Can it happen? Can it work? Can women bring in the numbers?'" Selenis Levya (Gloria) told us. "Yes it can. We've proven that with this show."
"Being given the opportunity to succeed is really all women need," Taylor Schilling (Piper) added.
Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed an investigation into the lack of female directors in film and television. A DGA study, which the ACLU cited in their letters, found that only 14 percent of 220 TV shows -- 3,500 episodes in total -- had women at the helm. If bias is found, even in Hollywood’s biggest studios, legal charges might be filed. Obviously, this is a step in the right direction, but will Hollywood listen?
"Let's invest in the talent that we have," said Yael Stone (Lorna) said. "These wonderful, skilled female directors that are out there. I'd like to see people like that given the opportunities -- and then given them again."
Stone's point is an important one. Oftentimes, when women are given the chance to step behind the camera, it doesn't lead to more opportunities, unlike their male counterparts. "It needs to be consistent," Danielle Brooks (Taystee) told us. "That's what is missing with women in Hollywood, consistency."
It may not happen overnight, but ultimately, studios will have to be held accountable for their actions, instead of accepting the status quo, which tbh, has proven to be a busted model as of late. And really, the answer is so simple:
"Men and women alike, all of us, use our voice," said Uzo Aduba (Suzanne), "And recognize the very basic truth that women can do anything."