Warning: post contains some spoilers relating to the new season of Orange Is The New Black.
Veteran groups in America have criticised Orange Is The New Black creators for their portrayals of ex-service members in the latest season.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars called the show “offensive” while Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans Of America said it would worsen established stigma. Disabled American Veterans added the latest season failed to reflect the true veteran experience.
VFW national commander John A Biedrzycki Junior said the choice to use veterans as the new season’s villains offended the entire community.
National spokesman for DAV and Iraq War veteran Dan Clare brought up how the season’s launch came at a time when many service members would be returning home and looking for jobs.
Clare said the show could negatively affect the public perception of veterans as they transition back into civilian life.
The remarks come after Air Force veteran Tahlia Burton wrote a piece for military magazine Task and Purpose that slams the portrayals.
Burton said OITNB depicted the veterans as monsters.
"I’m not saying that the veterans deserve hero status. I’m not even saying that veterans are owed any kind of respect —but don’t portray us as a group of monsters."
Veterans are introduced into the latest season after the prison becomes strapped for cash and experienced guards.
It is suggested that ex-servicemen and women would make ideal candidates as they offered tax benefits to the businesses who employed them.
The veteran guards are portrayed as dark and disturbed members of the staff who seem unable to function in regular society.
Burton strongly criticises several scenes that give voice to the veteran characters.