NEW YORK (AP) — The creator of “Orange Is the New Black” says though the Emmys switched the hit show from the comedy category to drama, she’s not a fan of people boxing the series into a single genre.
“The whole label thing is frustrating — just people’s needs to define us. OK, you know, whatever you want to call us, fine,” Jenji Kohan said in an interview Wednesday. “Are we a comedy? Are we a drama? … Are we doing good work or not? Do you like us or not? As you can hear, I have issues with the whole, you know, beauty contest thing. It’s fraught.”
The show, in its third season on Netflix, is nominated for outstanding drama series at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, which airs on Fox at 8 p.m. EDT on Sept. 20, though last year it competed for outstanding comedy series.
The Television Academy announced this year that shows with episodes of 30 minutes or less are now designated a comedy, while those over a half-hour are dramas. Netflix’s petition to keep the hour-long ‘OITNB’ in the comedy category was denied, according to a report by Variety. Also nominated in the drama category are AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” PBS’ “Downton Abbey,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Showtime’s “Homeland,” and AMC’s “Mad Men.”
“(To say), ‘You’re in this box and you’re in that box’ — we’ve always been hard to define; we’re kind of a hybrid, and people feel this need to call us something, and I don’t feel the same need to say what we are. So, that’s on them,” Kohan said.
This year, “OITNB” earned a Golden Globe nomination for best television series, musical or comedy and won outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
“We’re funny when we feel we need to be funny and we’re dramatic when we feel we need to be dramatic ’cause hopefully we’re reflecting life. And life is never just a drama, just a comedy,” Kohan said. “And I don’t know why you have to say it’s one thing or the other.”
At the Emmys “OITNB” is also nominated for outstanding casting for a drama series, outstanding supporting actress in a drama series for Emmy winner Uzo Aduba and outstanding guest actor in a drama series for Pablo Schreiber.
Kohan, who also created the Showtime series “Weeds,” said she has a complex when it comes to awards shows.
“It’s complicated because … I can’t base my self-worth or the show’s self-worth on how other people award us or nominate us or feel about us because when we don’t win we can’t say, ‘Oh, then we weren’t good,’ or when we do win, ‘We were better’ — because I’m just proud of the work we do,” she said. “It’s really nice to have outside validation, but ultimately it’s sort of a dog and pony show, and it can be subjective. And if I can’t be all in when we lose, I can’t be all in when we win either, so I have to be careful with that, just to protect myself.”
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.