The Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black” plans an unusual tribute to a character who died on the show, but we want to add a spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t yet watched the end of the fourth season.
The announcement comes ahead of the premiere of season five.
“Netflix has commissioned artists in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, Toronto, San Francisco, Sydney and Melbourne to paint murals of character Poussey Washington as both a tribute to her and a tease for the upcoming fifth season of the prison series, which starts June 9,” the AP reports. “Washington, an inmate portrayed by actress Samira Wiley, was a fan favorite whose sudden death at the hands of corrections officers at the end of the fourth season stunned many. Netflix wanted to honor her with a portrait and the slogan ‘Stand Up.'”
One of the artists is Detroit-based artist Michelle Tanguay, who said she cried when she saw Washington die. Said Tanguay: “I want to do the character justice and do the show justice because I think they have so many strong messages that are really relevant today. I’m a huge, huge fan of the show. I actually watch it while I paint.”
The AP report adds: “Her hand-painted portrait is decorated with black, blue and white lines. It stands 24-by-25 feet and was painted on a brick wall at the corner of Detroit’s Broadway Street and Grand River Avenue. Netflix gave her the freedom to do whatever she wanted as long as she showed the character and used the show’s hashtag and slogan.”
The report also notes: “Netflix joins other companies in embracing old-school, hand-painted mural billboards in this digital age to get their messages out, including McDonald’s, Adidas, Ubisoft and Jack Daniels. Hand-painted murals in the past have often honored civil rights leaders or young victims of street violence, a history Nexfix has tapped this time by commissioning portraits of Washington.”