Real Life 'Karen' Taryn Manning Plays 'Karen' In New Movie

Photo: YouTube
Taryn Manning

We need to speak to the manager of Hollywood about Taryn Manning’s new role in the upcoming movie, "Karen."

On June 17, the trailer for the upcoming thriller was released, sparking a flurry of reactions online.

The film, directed by Coke Daniels, features Manning in the title role as Karen Drexler, a racist white neighbor hellbent on displacing a Black family that moves to her street.

Both the trailer and the choice to cast Manning in the lead were promptly scrutinized by people on social media.

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Manning, 42, is best known for her role as Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett in Netflix’s "Orange Is the New Black."

However, her acting career isn't the main thing she is currently being remembering her for.

Manning’s spotty past as a real life "Karen" has led many on Twitter to question how well she may relate to her role as Karen Drexler.

One user commented “Am I the only one who remembers how Taryn Manning (Karen in this) went on a weird q [anon] esque rant during the BLM protests last year?”

The tweet was accompanied by several posts from Manning’s Instagram that have since been removed.

The posts in question consisted of Manning calling for an end to the “attacks” on former President Donald Trump for his controversial choice to hold up a Bible during a press conference.

Her lengthy caption when on to say that while “everyone attacks” Trump and she doesn't support him, "he can be very nice actually.”

Another image showed Manning as a young girl posing with two Black friends that she captioned: “Far from a racist.”

The resurfaced images inspired some to state that Manning “won’t have to act” for this upcoming role.

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Taryn Manning is no stranger to controversy.

In November 2014, Taryn allegedly violated a restraining order filed against her by former "friend-turned-stalker," Jeanine Heller.

A judge issued a mutual restraining order against both Heller and Manning after a gruesome social media battle that landed Heller in jail.

Manning was later arrested after sending Heller numerous death threats through text and social media, a clear violation of the aforementioned TRO.

Though Manning was taken into custody, the District Attorney’s Office’s decided not to prosecute.

In response, Manning filed a petition against the city in which she asked for $10 million in damages due to the false arrest. The petition was denied because it was filed too late, with the judge also noting that "the evidence she presented was not persuasive."

During a guest appearance on Maria Menounos’s podcast, "Conversations with Maria Menounos," Manning spoke out about her attempt to sue the city and how the arrest had impacted her job opportunities.

“I know what I did was a bold choice, but it’s more about being arrested for something that you never did, under false allegations, and then being humiliated,” she said.

“There was a couple of jobs where they were like, ‘We don’t want trouble on our set.’ and it’s like, I’m so not trouble. I get to work on time, I know my lines, I love what I do,” she continued. “I don’t continue to get in trouble, it’s just these one-off things that have happened.”

That was not Manning's only experience with either restraining orders or arrests.

In 2015, Manning’s former friend and makeup artist, Holly Hartman, filed a restraining order against Manning for allegedly assaulting, threatening and “Windexing” her.

Hartman said the alleged incident occurred in Manning’s New York City apartment, and that Manning headbutted her, whipped her with a towel, put her in a headlock and sprayed her in the eyes with Windex.

During the brawl, the actress reportedly shouted at Hartman, “Pick a knife. I’m wearing a white shirt, there will be a lot of blood. You will be famous for killing Taryn Manning.”

Three years prior, following another incident in which Manning was accused of "punching her makeup artist in the face, kicking her in the face and torso, scratching her, grabbing her by the hair and slamming her against the floor and wall, and choking her,".the actress was arrested and charged with assault in the third degree and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.

Hartman asked not to move forward with the charges, and Manning was sentenced to one day of community service with a promise that the charges would be dropped if she stayed out of trouble for six months, which she did.

Manning also discussed her night in jail with Menounos. She took full responsibility for the brawl and said, “I made a poor, poor choice under stress and, you know, we do sometimes as humans, we hit a threshold and we can snap.”

She continued, “I got into a physical altercation with someone I’ve known a long time. So stupid. So that was terrible and I went to jail and I deserved it."

The second time around, Hartman attempted to file a restraining order against Manning in Los Angeles, but the request was denied because the incident took place in New York City.

Assault allegations against Manning were then dropped after Hartman failed to appear in court.

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Manning's next controversial moment came at the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Manning ran into a snag with her dress, and unfortunately, the snag was not one involving the fabric, but instead, the price tag.

After unknowingly wearing a $200 Adrianna Papell gown to the event, Manning criticized her stylist for not putting her in a “superstar gown” and claimed that designer Papell “should pay [her] a lot of money” due to the press the designer got.

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The brand responded to Manning’s comment saying that they were “still proud to count Taryn Manning among the women who have chosen to celebrate life’s milestones in our gowns.”

Manning later backtracked, taking to Instagram to explain herself.

“I was completely caught off guard when all of the press about my dress was about the cost, which I knew nothing about, and I felt used for someone else’s gain,” she wrote.

“I am happy to be the proof that there is more to feeling confident, beautiful, and happy on the inside than just a price tag,” she continued.

And in July 2019, Manning appeared to post an aggressive outburst on Instagram.

In a post that was soon deleted, Manning wrote: “This show hurt me more than anything has in my life and if this is what I have to do to push what I stand for I will."

“I have to speak out before anything happens to me," the post continued. "This show hurts humans. You will never truly know but many were hurt!”

She continued her rant saying that she did not need to ever work again in this town, blaming her team for turning away after she was dropped because “a person terrorizes me daily.”

While Manning did not mention the show in question's name, she appeared to be referencing OITNB.

Manning later apologized, claiming her Instagram account had been hacked.

After the posts were taken down, her profile read, “My account is hacked and I am sorry for these messages :( I am back in now and was able to erase!”

She later shared another post apologizing once again for what had been posted to her account.

While Manning may not be a true “Karen” like her character in the movie, fans are still concerned that her past behaviors may be a bit too similar to her character.

Manning, however, has decided to embrace her role and hopes to use it as a way to highlight the devastating effects of the real Karen’s in the world.

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Livvie Brault is a writer who covers self-love, news and entertainment, and relationships.