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A ‘Karen’-Inspired Crime Thriller Is Currently In The Works

Social commentary meets action-packed suspense

Orange Is The New Black actress Taryn Manning is set to star in a crime thriller about a type of woman, colloquially referred to as ‘Karen’, who terrorises her new Black neighbours.

The U.S. film, set in the South, will feature the Black Lives Matter movement heavily, as well the people that oppose it. 

The ubiquitous cultural phenomenon of ‘Karen’ has boomed in recent years. Used as a blanket term, it describes a stereotype of middle-aged, white women who are predominantly right-wing and generally associated with being confrontational, often believe in conspiracy theories, and aligned with other acts that stem from privilege, e.g. demanding to speak to retail managers for slight inconveniences.

Most notably, there have been a slew of viral videos and tweets of these women recently who have been filmed hurling abuse or calling the police on BIPOC without reason.

Written and directed by Coke Daniels, the film will centre on the more insidious ways that discrimination manifests, rather than overt white supremacy.

Talking to TMZ, Daniels explained that the character Karen becomes obsessed with driving her new Black, BLM-supporting neighbours out of the neighbourhood, even going to extreme measures that devolve into one hell of a wild watch for viewers. 

In an Instagram post Daniels also expressed his plans to make the film a meaningful social commentary, “I felt it was necessary at this point for me to use my voice to speak truth to power and move the conversations forward as it relates to social injustices, racism and the litany of other inequalities people of colour are faced with daily in this country,” he wrote.  

Manning, who plays white supremacist Pennsatucky in Orange Is The New Black, has been commended as the ‘perfect’ casting choice for Karen.

While the premise sounds rife with entertainment, we can only hope that the film speaks to these relevant issues in a meaningful way, rather than just utilising the Black Lives Matter movement for cultural currency. 

Karen is set for a Februrary 2021 release. For now, we have this teaser from Daniels.

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