EXCLUSIVE: Ava Duvernay On Why Central Park Five Is Renamed Exonerated 5 + “When They See Us” Most Watched Series On Netflix In US Every Day

Yusef Salaam, Anton McCray, Kevin Richardson, Oprah Winfrey, Raymond Santana, Korey Wise & Ava DuVernay

EXCLUSIVE: Ava Duvernay On Why Central Park Five Is Renamed Exonerated 5 + “When They See Us” Most Watched Series On Netflix In US Every Day

Ava Duvernay’s When They See Us has gotten amazing attention since it premiered on Netflix on May 31. The four-part series tells the story of five African-American and Latino teenage boys who were wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting an investment banker in Central Park in 1989. During their interviews with police, they were held without food for ours as the story shows them being coerced into saying they were involved in the crime. The five boys who are now men, Yusef Salaam, Anton McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise have since been known as the Central Park Five.

Now, their story is being told.

Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Korey Wise, Anton McCray and Kevin Richardson attend the Netflix “When They See Us” FYSEE Event at Raleigh Studios on June 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Handout/Getty Images for Netflix)

The Jasmine Brand caught up with Duvernay at Netflix’s FYSEE event and she explained why she thought now is the perfect time to release When They See Us, as well as why she no longer refers to them as the Central Park Five.

“We were hoping to release it around the 30th anniversary of the real events, to just memorialize what happened to these boys. And to be able to now that they are men, we don’t call them the Central Park Five. We call them the Exonerated Five, the Innocent Five. We reclaim their humanity that was stripped from them when they were called thugs and wolf pack, wilding. That’s been our goal, our intention.

She added that the community has been a major support since the film was released.

“It’s been really beautiful to see the way the community especially has rallied around them, has held them up, has championed them, has loved on them. They really felt it and I think it’s bringing them a sense of peace.”

 

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The success of the series has been impeccable. Netflix announced it has been the most-watched series every day on the streaming service since it released on May 31.

Have you watched When They See Us yet?

Authored by: Char Patterson