The Touching Way Orange Is The New Black Is Honoring Poussey

orange is the new black netflix poussey washington samira wiley

There was no shortage of devastating TV deaths in 2016, and one of the most heartbreaking was none other than Orange Is the New Black's Poussey Washington. She died in the penultimate episode of Season 4, and fans are facing the prospect of several more seasons without her brightening up Litchfield Penitentiary. Her death isn't any less sad these days than it was when it first hit the web in June 2016, but at least Netflix has now found a downright lovely way of honoring her. The streaming service has commissioned artists to create murals in Poussey's honor.

Artists based in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, Toronto, San Francisco, Sydney, and Melbourne will paint murals to pay tribute to the beloved Orange Is the New Black character and get people talking about the upcoming Season 5. The murals will include the slogan "Stand Up" in the art. According a report from The Associated Press, Netflix has given the artists all the freedom to do whatever they want as long as Poussey is pictured, #OITNB is included, and "Stand Up" is featured.

Arguably the biggest tragedy of Poussey's death is the fact that it was entirely unwarranted and avoidable. She died after a silent protest from the Litchfield inmates against the way the guards were treating them got violent. When Bayley got into an altercation with Crazy Eyes, Poussey got between them. She was pinned down on the ground for her efforts, with Bayley's knee pressing down hard on her back. In the chaos, Bayley couldn't hear Poussey's cries for help as she began to suffocate. By the time anybody realized something was wrong, Poussey was dead, and Orange Is the New Black fans were devastated.

The death of Poussey sadly also meant the departure of actress Samira Wiley from the show. She was a consistent highlight of the series for the first four seasons, and she was a big part of why the character became such a fan favorite. Wiley doesn't seem to begrudge Orange Is the New Black for killing her character, but she has said that she hopes Poussey's death angers viewers and awakens them to "what's going on in the real world."

The OITNB crew (sans Poussey) will be back for Season 5 in the not-too-distant future, and it will be the first season to unfold over the span of only a few days. We've already gotten a first look to hold us over. Hopefully the show will recover from Poussey's death while still honoring who she was and finding some form of justice for her death.

Orange Is the New Black returns for Season 5 on Friday, June 9 at 12:01 a.m. PT. Take a look at our 2017 Netflix premiere schedule to see the full lineup of release dates this year. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in TV news, and don't forget to check out our midseason TV premiere guide and our summer TV premiere schedule to discover all your viewing options now and in the coming weeks. Be sure to drop by our rundowns for cable/streaming and broadcast TV renewals and cancellations.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).