When she was 24, Piper Kerman dated a woman who was part of a drug smuggling ring. Years later, after being named as part of that ring, Kerman served time in a federal prison and at one point shared a cell with her former girlfriend. Her memoir of that experience inspired the Netflix series.
Orange Is the New Black's showrunner explains how a story about a privileged white woman and criminality allows her to tell "really fascinating tales" of black women, Latinas, old women and criminals. Kohan also created the Showtime series Weeds.