By Kaitlin Menza published
On Sunday night, President-elect Donald Trump announced a new appointment to his senior staff and transition team: Breitbart News executive chairman and self-declared voice of the alt-right movement Steve Bannon. He's a man that conservative pundit Glenn Beck described as "terrifying," and who the leader of the American Nazi party called "surprising." And truth be told, he looks a whole lot like Officer Sam Healy from Orange Is the New Black (not to be confused with actor Michael Harney, who is by all accounts a charming man).
Yes, both Healy and Bannon are sixty-somethings with weary eyes, silvery white hair, and round features. And yes, Healy could definitely change his Facebook profile picture to Steve Bannon without anyone noticing. But the similarities between Bannon the man and Officer Healy the fictional character go far beyond that, as they share many of the same deeply troubling views.
They're both suspicious of lesbians.
When we meet Officer Healy's in season one of Orange Is the New Black, he tries to sherpa protagonist Piper Chapman into the prison world. His main advice? Stay away from all the lesbians.
In fact, when Healy sees Chapman dancing with a woman, he locks her in solitary confinement, that's how disappointed he is in her decision to indulge in same-sex behavior. Healy finds Piper's lesbianism such a betrayal that he literally looks the other way as a fellow inmate tries to kill her in the first season finale.
In a 2011 radio interview, Steve Bannon explained that feminists hate right-wing women like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachman because "...the women that would lead this country would be pro-family, they would have husbands, they would love their children. They wouldn't be a bunch of dykes that came from the Seven Sisters schools up in New England. That drives the left insane and that's why they hate these women."
Bannon also oversaw Breitbart headlines like "Dear Straight People: I'm Officially Giving You Permission To Say Gay, Faggot And Queer" and "Gay Rights Have Made Us Dumber, It's Time To Get Back In The Closet."
They'd rather not listen to women's views on women's issues.
Viewers of Orange Is the New Black are treated to flashbacks to Healy's life outside the prison as a way to explain why he hates women so much, but the stark fact is he just does. He's a dyed-in-the-wool misogynist.
Healy is damaged by his mother and rejected by his wife, and he hates women in positions of power. Take the way he describes his female boss: "Behind every strong man is a strong, c*nt-faced witch monster."
Meanwhile, Breitbart News has asked, "Would you rather your child have feminism or cancer?" and "Does feminism make women ugly?" One of their writers also wrote the following screed about birth control in 2015: "Women on the Pill don't look right and don't talk right. What could be worse? Well, they can't jiggle correctly either."
The writer ultimately concluded that women would be better off getting pregnant asap, writing, "Condoms? Vasectomies? The answer is: nothing. We need the kids if we're to breed enough to keep the Muslim invaders at bay."
Neither of them believe in global warming.
Healy says global warming is "popular fiction," likening it to female ejaculation. It's a funny line, but Breitbart's coverage of climate change isn't so hilarious. They've called it "the greatest-ever conspiracy against the taxpayer" and a "hoax that costs us $4 billion a day."
They give preferential treatment to white, blonde ladies.
Even when he hates her, Healy gives Chapman special, racially-driven privileges—for example, he easily grants her furlough to attend her grandmother's funeral while other inmates beg and petition for the same.
They are threatened by black women in positions of power.
In the third season, Healy loathes a new colleague, a black female corrections officer with two Master's degrees who proves more popular than he is with the inmates. She's ultimately suspended, which delights him.
They don't believe in mental health treatment.
Healy's mother is revealed as violent and mentally ill in flashbacks, and despite this backstory (or because of it), he believes that inmates who are suffering from depression need to snap out of it.
Finally, and perhaps most disturbingly, in an email discussing how he could destroy Speaker Paul Ryan, Steve Bannon mocked Ryan's proposed overhaul of mental healthcare in the United States. "I've got a cure for mental health issue," he wrote. "Spank your children more."
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