bad ideas

A Pop-Up in Singapore Is Serving 'Prison Grub' in a Jail-Like Setting to Promote OITNB


A Pop-Up in Singapore Is Serving 'Prison Grub' in a Jail-Like Setting to Promote OITNB

Here is a bad idea: to celebrate the return of Orange Is the New Black, a restaurant in Singapore, in an apparent partnership with Netflix, is doing a pop-up “prison dining experience.” That means “home-cooked prison grub” served in a jail-like cafeteria setting. Piper Kerman, who wrote the book the show is based on and who served time in prison, tells Jezebel, “This is repulsive.”

The pop-up is a two-day event at a restaurant called OverEasy that seems to focus on American-style cuisine: steak, “Americana milkshakes” and now mass incarceration. There is a reservation page set up on a website called Chope, but in case it should disappear, here is a screenshot of the description:

As you can see, one of the featured dishes is based on Nutraloaf, a deliberately disgusting meal served to inmates as a form of punishment. Nutraloaf is exceedingly controversial, and some prison reform advocates have argued that it’s a form of torture.

In a breezy and approving write-up on Mashable a few days ago, the chef making food for the event, Bjorn Shen, giggled about it:

Viewed by many Americans as cruel prison punishment, Nutraloaf is made up of a three-course meal blended together into a paste, then baked into a loaf. Doesn’t sound or look too appetising, but rest assured, your taste buds are in good hands.

“Since this is not real prison, I’ve made this dish look and feel like a Nutraloaf, but taste much better,” Shen tells Mashable. “Mine’s made of mushrooms, cheddar, quinoa, pumpkin and nori.”

Cool. Very cool.

This might seem like a rogue bad idea, except that it appears to be an actual partnership with Netflix. The Chope page claims the event is “brought to you by Orange Is the New Black.” A video promoting the pop-up was posted by Netflix; it features Lea DeLaria, the actress who plays Big Boo.

“Well, it’s Red’s kitchen, so it’s Red’s rules,” she says, standing in front of a backdrop that looks like the OINTB cafeteria. “You have to queue if you want to eat.” She pauses and laughs. “Oh, wait a minute, you guys like queuing in Singapore!” She winks. “You’re gonna fit right in.”

Singapore, like the United States, is very good at locking people up: the country has some of the most draconian drug laws in the world, including both caning and a mandatory death sentence for some drug offenses.

Jezebel contacted Piper Kerman for comment via Twitter; she was unaware of the promotion.

“This is repulsive,” she wrote to us. “I am not aware of this being Netflix, but you should ask them.” Kerman has been a strong advocate for prison reform since she wrote the book; as this tremendously ill-advised event was being planned, she was participating in a criminal justice reform event at the White House:

We have contacted Netflix for comment and will update when we hear back.

Screenshot via Chope

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

bad ideas

More in bad ideas

vngfkpngywwvfrrmd5au.png

The Cruel Intentions Reboot Is Officially Dead, But it Could Rise Again

StaffDecember 23, 2016
qnqppgzgmxjzfwrgdfjk.jpg

A&E to Air a Documentary Series About the KKK We Definitely Don't Need Right Now 

StaffDecember 19, 2016
rilrjrzywwf5zy83k0ni.jpg

Florida Judge Sanctioned, Ordered to Take Anger Management Classes After Jailing Abuse Victim 

StaffJuly 8, 2016
acszgk0mjxl2aivfld66.jpg

Woman Wearing 'Stop Domestic Violence' Shirt Charged with Menacing Her Husband With a Gun 

StaffMay 25, 2016
eavgr8oykthkja5c63ct.png

Wisconsin School Receives Federal Funding, Discourages 'Sinful' Gay and Trans Students From Enrolling 

StaffMay 20, 2016
1463433666_wxzsnzkl00sb3yyzpxxz.jpg

Extra-Ambitious Man Wants to 'Recreate' 9/11 Attacks in a Field To See If It Was All a Hoax

StaffMay 16, 2016
1463166845_ae9ggbyjjhbx096xucn6.jpg

Alabama Sorority Made T-Shirts With a Black Man Eating Watermelon Next to Laborers Picking Cotton

StaffMay 13, 2016
1462991165_k9nrqcxet6adsqknu8r3.jpg

Louisiana 'Blue Lives Matter' Bill Would Make Violence Against Police and Firefighters a Hate Crime

StaffMay 11, 2016
1462464483_iop8mwzaq070zre2qcfk.jpg

Indiana Now Has 'Baby Boxes' for Abandoned Newborns

StaffMay 5, 2016