Hello children, allow me to tell you my favorite Hollywood industry love story of all time. Once upon time there was an actress named Samira Wiley who was the breakout story of a little Netflix original series called Orange is the New Black. Not only was Wiley an exceptional actress in her role as Poussey Washington, she also became an icon in the LGBT community for being exceptionally attractive. Now, as you may have guessed by now, this is the story of how this gay icon met and fell in love with her future wife. And who is Samira Wiley's wife, you ask?
Let me introduce you to Lauren Morelli, the other key player in this fairy tale. Once upon a time, Ms. Lauren Morelli joined the writing staff of Orange is the New Black in 2013. At this time, Morelli had been married for two years to her husband, who's name is not relevant to this epic tale. The point is, Morelli appeared to be, for all intents and purposes, heterosexual. Fast forward one year, after the first season of Orange is the New Black. Morelli has filed for divorce. Fast forward a few more months: Morelli pens an essay for Mic titled, "While Writing for 'Orange Is the New Black,' I Realized I Am Gay." Already, this story is blessed. In the essay she compared her sexuality journey to that of Piper, the main character. Morellie wrote,
I went through it all on set: I fell in love with a woman, and I watched my life play out on screen.
Now, at this point Morelli does not reveal whether said woman was Samira Wiley, but then, two years later, we learned that Morelli and Wiley were engaged, in October of 2016.
Best story ever, or best story ever, am I right? BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Fast-forward to March 2017 to the most gorgeous wedding of all time. Wiley and Morelli got married in Palm Springs and had beautiful Martha Stewart wedding.
The dress! The lacy pant suit! I'm in tears, this is the most beautiful, most blessedly gay wedding in all of Hollywood history. Try harder, Neil and David!
Of course, an Orange is the New Black star dating an Orange is the New Black writer does potentially create some professional conflicts of interest. (If you haven't watched Season 4 of Orange is the New Black yet, stop reading now, because I'm about to get into some major spoilers.) So, as you probably know, Wiley's character Poussey Washington, gets killed off at the end of Season 4. It was a pretty painful scene: a prison guard, Baxter Bayler, chokes Poussey (Samira Wiley) to death, echoing many real-life police killings of innocent black people. Morelli was the one tasked with writing Poussey's final episode, with the help of Wiley. In an interview with The New York Times, Morelli opened up what it was like to write such a painful scene for someone she was so intimate with.
I was beyond honored when I found out that I would get to write it, not only because it was a story that I believe in telling but also because there's a lot of trust between Samira and me. And I felt privileged that I would then get to be on set and be there for the entire cast as we went through this difficult process.
Now Morelli continues to write for Orange is the New Black, while Wiley has moved onto to other shows like You're the Worst and The Handmaid's Tale. Now that the two are married, it's probably good not to work at the same office any more.
So there you have it, kids! The most romantic Hollywood industry love story of all time. The end.