Orange Is the New Black star Taryn Manning will portray a fictional Karen in an upcoming suspense thriller about the infamous stereotype. In recent years, the name “Karen” has been popularly used to describe entitled, middle aged white women complaining at restaurants or retail establishments, often asking to “speak to the manager.” It has since been frequently used to refer to women calling the police on their Black neighbors for arbitrary reasons, a trend that often leads to the women suffering from public shaming and losing their jobs. The name has also been used for countless memes and social media posts.
Seeing some story potential, writer and director Coke Daniels is moving forward with a project that can best be described as the ultimate Karen movie, featuring a lead character that appears to be the embodiment of all of the real-life “Karens.” Playing a woman named Karen White, Manning’s character is someone “who believes people should stick to their own kind,” also described as a “racist, entitled white woman in the South who terrorizes her new African-American neighbors.” Set in modern times, Mrs. White’s new neighbors are also said to be staunch Black Lives Matters supporters, reflecting the real-life events of 2020.
Playing a prejudiced character certainly won’t be entirely new territory for Taryn Manning, as she previously portrayed racist prisoner Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett on the popular Netflix prison drama series Orange Is the New Black. In the first season, she was quickly established as the main antagonist opposite Taylor Schilling’s starring role as new inmate Piper Chapman, though the character became more of a protagonist in later seasons as the role continued to develop. An important part of the show’s ensemble cast, Manning was certainly among the most memorable characters of the series, which concluded its seven-season run on the streamer just last year.
Meanwhile, Daniels is the filmmaker behind the 2007 mockumentary movie Gangsta Rap: A Glockumentary. The comedy followed a trio of rappers inspired by the famous rap group N.W.A. hoping to make a big musical comeback. More recently, he directed the romantic comedy His, Hers & the Truth, which starred Terri J. Vaughn, Dorien Wilson, and Ashani Roberts. That movie told the story of two acquaintances who finally become romantically involved after years of platonic friendship. Additionally, Daniels is also attached to the upcoming comedy Fruits of the Heart with Clifton Powell and Wendy Raquel Robinson.
It’s not yet clear when production will begin on Karen, or when the movie will be released. Additional casting information also has yet to be revealed. While Daniels is clearly going to be having some fun with the infamous stereotype, the filmmaker also suggests that there will be a moral to the story, as he wants to give people an “interesting perspective on social justice and race relations in America.” In any case, the very concept is also bound to lead to some complaints as well, so we can expect this one to be at least a little bit controversial. This news comes to us from TMZ.