Danielle Brooks Was Congratulated For Flying First Class, And Here’s How ‘OITNB’ Characters Would Have Responded
When someone congratulates you, it’s normally in regards to a milestone or accomplishment you’ve been working towards. There’s the assumption that this is something special and new that merits the act of congratulating, which is why it’s so fucked that Orange is the New Black and Broadway star Danielle Brooks was congratulated for flying first class.
The 26-year-old Netflix star took to Twitter to voice her frustration saying, “I hate when gate agents look at me like I’ve never flown first class and say, ‘You’re in first class, lucky you!’ really tho.” Although she’s already deleted her tweet, fans and followers caught her sentiments and responded with tweets expressing solidarity for the frustrations of casual racism (although Brooks never technically called out the incident as racist), while others claimed she was being “oversensitive,” as twitter trolls are inclined to do. One user, @Danieb, cleverly wrote, “Tell them it’s their lucky day too cause first month of Netflix is free so they can join.”
While the singular incident might not sound significant to many people, the fact that Brooks is a Tony Award-nominated actress who still receives condescending remarks about flying first class says a lot about our country’s assumptions about the intersections of race and class.
Due to my love of OITNB, this whole scenario got me imagining how characters from the show would respond if they rode first class and received a similar comment. Obviously, the actresses themselves aren’t their characters — and the life experiences of Brooks far differ from those of Taystee, but her humorous and laissez-faire coping mechanism in this scenario doesn’t stray far from that of Taystee’s. So then, what kinds of tweets would Piper or Poussey type out? I have some theories.
Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren
I imagine Suzanne would be overjoyed to be traveling. After receiving the condescending comment, she would probably give the person the benefit of the doubt (as a coping mechanism for all the shit she’s dealt with from people) and tweet something overjoyed like: “I just got congratulated on flying first class and I congratulated the woman back, but she walked away?!”
By the time Piper arrived at her gate she would already be on her last nerve, because why the fuck did security take so long?! Security never took so long when she was smuggling drugs with Alex. After the airport employee congratulated her on riding first class, she would roll her eyes and tweet, “Got congratulated for flying first class, does this woman even know who my fucking father is?!” She would also be deeply disappointed by the limited assortment of airplane wine.
In keeping with her personality, Daya’s airport experience would be approached with a mixture of caution and wide-eyed faith. She would be ready to fly with drawing materials on hand, and after receiving the comment from the airport employee, she would feel a bit suspicious, taking to Twitter saying: “The airport employee congratulated me for flying first class, I don’t know why?! He was fly though.”
There is no doubt that if Doggett received the comment from the airport employee, she would respond with both annoyance and pride. After receiving the comment, she’d take to Twitter saying: “Fuck ya I got congratulated on flying first class, you better fucking believe I’m rich as hell!!!” She would then continue to tweet about how rich she is and probably take a selfie of her new teeth.
Miss Claudette Pelage
Miss Claudette would already be deeply disillusioned with the materialistic trappings of travel and would feel immediately annoyed at the airport employee’s comment. She wouldn’t have Twitter in the first place, and would instead feverishly scribble in her journal: “This woman just congratulated me on flying first class and it’s no place of hers to talk about where I sit.” She would also spend the whole flight avoiding eye-contact with the stewardesses because of their messy spirits.
I could really go on forever theorizing about the ways the OITNB characters would respond in this scenario, but we’ll leave it there for now.