VFW Calls Netflix Show Offensive

Commander says the deranged veteran storyline must change

WASHINGTON — The just released fourth season of “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix is depicting military veterans as evil, which should be offensive to everyone who has worn the uniform, said the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. 

“America has tens of thousands of troops currently deployed into harm’s way, and millions of others who have successfully transitioned back into society,” said John A. Biedrzycki Jr., “but the writers and producers chose instead to offend them all just to fit a storyline that needed new villains.”

The VFW learned of the affront from Air Force veteran and Task & Purpose editorial intern Tahlia Burton, who describes herself as a 20-something millennial woman and huge fan of a show that’s been lauded for its realistic portrayal of women in prison. But now she feels her own identity as a veteran has been attacked, because of the introduction of a new group of characters — prison guards who are military veterans — who portray veterans “as a cohort of bloodthirsty, heartless killers and sexists,” she wrote. 

Now that the show has been renewed for three more seasons, the VFW national commander said the deranged veteran storyline must change. “An apology would also be appropriate,” he said, “especially to Ms. Burton, who wrote that ‘when contrasted with every other group in the show, the portrayal encompasses the sociopathic, villainized, and dehumanized perception of vets when we come back from war, and that image is incredibly damaging to our community.’”

“For a young veteran and fan to write that the new season depicts ‘veterans as evil’ is damning testimony against an industry that’s supposed to inform and entertain,” said Biedrzycki. “Freedom of expression or not, the VFW will not give anyone a free pass to defame those who wear the uniform.”

Read Tahlia Burton’s opinion piece.