Orange Is The New Black Launches Poussey Washington Fund In Aid Of Prison Reform

The fund, named after Samira Wiley's character, will help push for changes to the US prison system and help women re-enter society after they're released.

Orange Is The New Black bosses have launched a new initiative in aid of US prison reform, to commemorate the show’s final series arriving on Netflix.

Producers have put together the Poussey Washington Fund, named in honour of the fan-favourite character, who was killed by a prison guard at the end of the show’s fourth season.

All money donated to the fund will be split evenly between eight existing non-profit organisations, which are working towards prison reform, as well as re-introducing women into society after they leave prison.

Samira Wiley – who played Poussey, for whom the fund is named – said: “It’s just a TV show, at the end of the day, but it’s changing people’s minds and hopefully with this fund it will be changing people’s lives – getting them the education that they need, getting them the health care and the mental health care that they might need.”

Showrunner Jenji Kohan added: “The legacy of the show, I hope, is empathy. That, and a normalising of diversity, which reflects real life.

“The world is not one colour or one socio-economic class or one gender. I think what we’ve come to appreciate most in our work are these crossroads where people who don’t necessarily encounter one another are forced to. Great drama ensues. And comedy. And humanity.”


Ahead of the final season’s debut on Netflix, we caught up with executive producer Tara Herrmann about putting together some of the show’s most famous moments, which included the death of Poussey.

Tara said that producers chose to kill off Poussey because they wanted to tell a story about police brutality, and knew that since the character was “pure” and “kind of the heart and soul of the series at that point”, her death “would have a big impact”.

We definitely wanted to tell a Black Lives Matter story, in our own way, she continued.

The final season of Orange Is The New Black is now available to stream on Netflix worldwide.


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