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Self-Important Hacker Leaks Orange Is the New Black

Self-Important Hacker Leaks Orange Is the New Black

Orange Is the New Black

A hacker has stolen episodes of the most culturally diverse, queer, and women-centric series on TV.

As if women, people of color, and queer people have not been assailed enough since Donald Trump took office in late January, an anonymous hacker who goes by the self-aggrandizing handle "The Dark Overlord," hacked, held hostage, and leaked the first 10 episodes of Orange Is the New Black's season 5 more than a month before the June 9 premiere.

The hacker released the episodes to the file-sharing site Pirate Bay on Saturday, after Netflix, which produces the Emmy-winning OITNB, failed to comply with demands to fork over an undisclosed sum of money, Variety reported.

In a statement to Netflix on Twitter after releasing the episodes, the hacker/s, who've offered no indication of why they stole content from Netflix, exhibited an inflated sense of importance and power.

"It didn't have to be this way, Netflix. You're going to lose a lot more money in all of this than what our modest offer was," wrote The Dark Overlord, according to Variety. "We're quite ashamed to breathe the same air as you. We figured a pragmatic business such as yourselves would see and understand the benefits of cooperating with a reasonable and merciful entity like ourselves."

Prior to the release of the episodes, Netflix released a statement regarding the hack, which occurred at the post-production studio Larson Studios late last year, according to Variety. "We are aware of the situation. A production vendor used by several major TV studios had its security compromised and the appropriate law enforcement authorities are involved," Netflix officials wrote.

OITNB's season is 13 episodes long, but the Larson Studios was hacked before the final three episodes of the season were sent to post-production.

Shows from ABC, Fox, National Geographic, and IFC have also been stolen by the hacker/s, and there's no telling yet how OITNB, which is Netflix's consistently most-watched series will be affected; it's a safe bet that none of those other networks has created a series as culturally diverse, queer, or woman-centric as OITNB. The series, based on Piper Kerman's memoir of her time in a women's prison, includes a racially diverse cast, and several queer characters, including transgender actress Laverne Cox whose role offered trans visibility on television when it was fairly obscure, and butch lesbian Lea DeLaria portraying a butch lesbian (rarely portrayed on TV) on the series.

While the months between OITNB seasons have always been far too many and it's tempting to want to binge a likely sub-par hacked version of the series, it's good to keep in perspective that the Netflix show hires and features marginalized groups of people who, in the time of Trump, need their voices heard more than ever.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist