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‘When They See Us’, A Netflix Series Making Headlines

Written and directed by Ava DuVernay, ‘When The See Us’ is making headlines all over the world since the day it aired on May 31. A Netflix series about the ‘Central Park Five’ is based on the lives of five African American and Hispanic teenagers who were wrongly accused of rape and assault in the spring of 1989 in Newyork city.

The story revolves around  Antron Mcray, Korey Wise, Yusuf Salam, Kevin Richardson, and Raymond Santana. All of the boys at the time of their arrest were around 14 to 16 years old. Subsequent arrests of all the teenagers took place in connection with the rape and assault of 28-year-old Trisha Meili who was a Central Park Jogger.

For what it’s worth, the story depicts the breakdown of the United States Criminal Justice System. The same system which compelled Antron, Yusuf, Kevin, and Raymond to spend years of their teenage in Juvenile detention centers while Wise who was only sixteen as per official records was sent to an Adult Prison. It was only after the confession of Matias Reyes, a convicted felon who confessed to the rape and assault of Trisha Meili thirteen years after the incident the central park five were exonerated.

DuVernay has tried to reflect upon the events of the past pertaining to arrest, sentence and ultimate exoneration of all five of them.

The Central Park Five

Source: Getty Images

Fans from the US and all over the world have taken over Twitter to express their sympathy as well as applaud the creators of the series.

In an interview to Oprah Winfrey during a taping of OWN special, DuVernay said,

“I think that it’s important that people be held accountable,” DuVernay said. “And that accountability is happening in a way today that it did not happen for the real men 30 years ago. But I think that it would be a tragedy if this story and the telling of it came down to one woman being punished for what she did because it’s not about her.”

DuVernay remains adamant to revisit what went through almost thirty years ago.

Linda Fairstein

Newyork city former prosecutor and acclaimed crime novelist, Linda Fairstein who prosecuted the Central Park Five back in 1989 has faced a severe backlash after the series was aired. According to reports, she has stepped down from the board of Vassar College, her longtime publisher Penguin Books has dropped her while Columbia Law School where Fairstein was a part-time lecturer has parted ways with her. Fairstein in an Op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal claimed the series to be an “Outright Fabrication”. She was of the view that series defames her and wrongly portrays the defendants in question.



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