Spoilers for season 3 of Orange is the New Black
Over Father’s Day, Matt McGorry — who plays Officer John Bennett on Orange is the New Black — had to deal with a lot of viewers who aren’t always able to tell the difference between a “character” and an “actor.”
See, early on in season three of OITNB, McGorry’s character, Officer Bennett proposes to Daya before visiting her family outside of the prison. It’s during the visit with Daya’s family that Bennett realizes that he’s not cut out for being a father. Or a husband. Or a stand-up guy who takes some responsibility for his actions. At the end of the season’s second episode, “Bed Bugs and Beyond,” Officer Bennett splits.
He’s not seen or heard of again in season three.
People on the Internet — many of whom are certifiably insane — blasted McGorry on Father’s Day for leaving his child and his fiance behind, neglecting to recall that McGorry is “real” and Bennett is “made up.” The heat got so hot that McGorry took to Instagram to address the situation, basically reminding everyone that — hey dumbasses! — TV is not real (except Game of Thrones, which is obviously a historical documentary).
Weirdly, the words coming out of my mouth and the things I did in the story were not created by me at all! To make matters even more confusing, I am even dressed in fictional character John Bennett’s costume (a costume is like fictional clothes) in this photograph that was taken on the television set and afterwards I went home to my apartment in New York City where I don’t have a child because I’m not a father and have never worked in a prison and TV is not real life.
Happy Fathers Day to all the real fathers out there! I am an actor and I play the fictional character John Bennett on the fictional television show entitled Orange Is The New Black. Here I am with actresses Dascha Polanco and Elizabeth Rodriguez who play make-believe mother-daughter characters named Dayanara and Aleida Diaz on the made up television program with me. They are not mother and Daugther in real life even though they and we play pretend characters that are sometimes even the opposite of who we are as real live people while not reflecting our real lives because it is not real. Moments before this photograph was taken I was even saying words that were written by another person, all the while pretending that my name was John Bennett and that his thoughts and actions were a result of my own brain! Weirdly, the words coming out of my mouth and the things I did in the story were not created by me at all! To make matters even more confusing, I am even dressed in fictional character John Bennett's costume (a costume is like fictional clothes) in this photograph that was taken on the television set and afterwards I went home to my apartment in New York City where I don't have a child because I'm not a father and have never worked in a prison and TV is not real life. #oitnb
Thankfully, many of his Twitter followers caught on.
Thank you for understanding 😉 https://t.co/Jwm7AHbc5I— Matt McGorry (@MattMcGorry) June 21, 2015
But here’s the other question many might have: Matt McGorry never did return, and I was left at the end of the season wondering, “Is one of the series’ best characters gone for good?”
I can’t answer that question, and McGorry hasn’t revealed the information himself. However, my best guess is: Yes. Mostly. McGorry is a busy man. He’s a series regular on Shonda Rhimes’ How to Get Away with Murder. He’s also in an Edward Burns’ series; Public Morals, he recently completed How He Fell in Love (he’s the lead); and is currently filming Loserville, where he’s also the lead.
I doubt McGorry has a lot of time left to continue on as a series regular on OITNB, and I suspect his storyline doesn’t have anywhere left to go. However, I also imagine he’ll return at some point — perhaps in season four — to give Daya some closure. After walking off his job, I certainly don’t see him getting it back permanently, but like Pablo Schreiber — who has made intermittent returns — I don’t think we’ve seen the very last of Officer Bennett, who is clearly too cool for Netflix these days.
In the meantime, please consider voting for McGorry in this year’s Pajiba 10. He’s a proud male feminist.