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Taryn Manning calls “Orange Is the New Black” producers 'abusive' over handling of rape storyline

Taryn Manning calls “Orange Is the New Black” producers 'abusive' over handling of rape storyline

Orange Is the New Black actress Taryn Manning posted — and later deleted — an Instagram video in which she accused the Netflix dramedy's staff of abusive behavior related to the press cycle surrounding her character's rape-centered storyline.

"On Orange Is the New Black, which most people know me for, thinking that that's my only project, it was written that I was raped. I was raped on the show, remember?" the 44-year-old said in the now-removed clip, which she initially shared overnight on Monday. "No one ever told me that, when I had to hit the press, the amount of the wall I'd be up against. 'So what was it like to be raped on the show?' The most divisive, pervasive topic on the planet, and I had to stand up and be the spokesperson for rape. That's abusive to me."

Taryn Manning on 'Orange Is the New Black'
Taryn Manning on 'Orange Is the New Black'

JoJo Whilden/Netflix/courtesy Everett Collection Taryn Manning on 'Orange Is the New Black'

She then referenced "Jenji, Tara, Neri" by first name only — seemingly referencing creator Jenji Kohan and executive producers Tara Herrmann and Neri Kyle Tannenbaum — for not preparing her to discuss such a difficult topic in interviews for the series.

"Nobody ever told me what I would be up against. You just dropped that on me in that season, you just dropped it on me. 'Oh, she's just going to get raped, you're just going to have to deal with it in the press.' How abusive that was," Manning said, noting that the reason she posted the video in the first place was to respond to an earlier (similarly deleted) video in which she discussed speaking about complex feelings related to the conviction and sentencing of Danny Masterson following news that Asthon Kutcher and Mila Kunis wrote letters of support for the disgraced sitcom actor.

"Don't come at me, that I'm the problem. I'm sitting here having compassion for someone that's going to jail for the rest of your lives, and you're still not satisfied, because you're haters and your demons," Manning said, finishing the video by attempting to separate her feelings for Masterson and his wife, Bijou Phillips, from the crimes the actor was sentenced to prison for committing — stressing that she was "not saying Danny is innocent" after he was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women. "What if we remember him as our friend? What if we didn't know that he had this tendency inside of him? What if we remember the history of our friend... is it wrong to know that that's our friend, and that's somebody that's not just all bad and not all good, as you're not all bad and you're not all good?"

Representatives for Netflix and Kohan did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment. Herrmann and Tannenbaum also did not immediately return individual requests for comment.

Jenji Kohan
Jenji Kohan

Efren Landaos/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Jenji Kohan

Adapted from Piper Kerman's memoir about serving time in jail on felony charges related to money laundering, Orange Is the New Black debuted on Netflix in 2013, and quickly became one of the most popular original series in the streamer's history before ending in 2019. Throughout its run, it garnered four Emmys and helped launch performers Taylor Schilling, Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Samira Wiley, and others to stardom.

After recurring on the show's first season, Manning's role as inmate Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett was upgraded to a series regular for seasons 2 through 7. She — alongside the ensemble cast — won two Screen Actors Guild Awards for their collective work on the show in 2016 and 2017.

Amid the ongoing Screen Actors Guild strike in Hollywood, several of the show's former actors — including Kimiko Glenn and Matt McGorry — claimed on social media that they were not fairly compensated for their work on the show.

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