It's been more than a month, but I'm still not over John Bennett leaving Daya on Orange Is The New Black. Not because I'm mad at him, necessarily, he was going through a lot. No, I'm not over it because all I want is for Bennett to come back for OITNB Season 4, and that has yet to be confirmed. So, I did the only thing I could think of, I asked Matt McGorry himself about Bennett's OITNB fate. Unfortunately he wasn't able to provide me with the exact answer, but he did have some encouraging words for all Bennett fans out there. "I think it's always possible [he'll come back]. I have no knowledge though, I guess you'll have to wait and see and find out," McGorry tells Bustle. "I still have my hopes high, but you can never really know."
Hey, I'll take anything that isn't a firm "no." But, even though OITNB may have left Bennett behind for now, McGorry has been feeling the impact of his character's decision every day.
From the character's perspective ... I think that he believes there is a better life for [Daya and the baby] without him there. And, I believe he knows that he would be vilified for that, but I think he actually thought that he was making a sort of worthwhile sacrifice. But, it's tricky thing as an actor; you have to come at it from the psychology of the character and be able to sort of justify that. Otherwise, it's not going to be a believable performance.
McGorry's performance was so believable that people on social media have taken to attacking the actor for the actions of his fictional character. It got to the point where McGorry had to post an Instagram (on Father's Day, no less) reminding everyone that he never actually abandoned his pregnant incarcerated girlfriend, because he doesn't have a pregnant incarcerated girlfriend.
"[The negativity is] something that in most careers, if you have them for long enough, will somehow surface at one point or another. So, it's probably a good thing that it's happening now," McGorry said of the daily angry messages he gets directed at his character. "It's one of those things that initially it bothered me a bit more, but as it goes on ... it's like any joke, it's funny the first time, and the next couple of times it's a little less funny, and after that you're just over it."
So, rather than dwell on the negativity, McGorry is using the fact that people are interested in his social media accounts to use them for good. "It's giving me the platform to be able to do other things on social media like promote feminism and gender equality," McGorry says. "So, at the end of the day it's one small thing, and it's one minor inconvenience compared to, like, what women have to go through in terms of people on social media calling them all sorts of nasty names."
You'll frequently see him on Twitter adding to conversations on gender and equality, and using his fame to spread awareness of this important subjects.
So, while we may have to wait awhile to see Bennett again (or ever), in the meantime let's all enjoy the fact that hate for his character has allowed McGorry to talk about things that really matter. And, if that isn't the best revenge against internet trolls, I don't know what is.