Ava DuVernay & Netflix Sued By Prosecutor Over “When They See Us”
Netflix and Ava DuVernay are facing a lawsuit over the series “When They See Us”. On Wednesday (March 18th) a lawsuit was filed by Linda Fairstein, a former prosecutor whose office oversaw the Central Park jogger case. She claims she was defamed by the Netflix series about the case. The suit alleges:
“In the film series, which Defendants have marketed and promoted as a true story, Defendants depict Ms. Fairstein — using her true name — as a racist, unethical villain who is determined to jail innocent children of color at any cost”.
It also states:
“Throughout the film series, Ms. Fairstein is portrayed as making statements that she never said, taking actions that she did not take — many of them racist and unethical, if not unlawful — in places that she never was on the days and times depicted,” the suit states. “On a number of occasions, Ms. Fairstein is portrayed using inflammatory language, referring to young men of color as ‘thugs,’ ‘animals’ and ‘bastards,’ that she never used.”
Netflix, as well as director Ava DuVernay and co-writer Attica Locke, are named in the lawsuit.
The streaming service has responded to the lawsuit:
“Linda Fairstein’s frivolous lawsuit is without merit. We intend to vigorously defend ‘When They See Us’ and Ava DuVernay and Attica Locke, the incredible team behind the series.”
When They See Us is a is a television miniseries created, co-written, and directed by Ava DuVernay for Netflix, that premiered in four parts on May 31, 2019. It is based on events of the 1989 Central Park jogger case and explores the lives and families of the five male suspects who were prosecuted on charges related to the rape and assault of a woman in Central Park, New York City. The series features an ensemble cast, including Jharrel Jerome, Asante Blackk, Jovan Adepo, Michael K. Williams, Logan Marshall-Green, Joshua Jackson, Blair Underwood, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Aunjanue Ellis, Marsha Stephanie Blake, and Kylie Bunbury. When They See Us received acclaim for its performances and casting.
Last year, Netflix and DuVernay were sued over the scene surrounding the police interrogation technique depicted in the film. The scene takes place in the fourth episode of the series. A character confronts NYPD detective Michael Sheehan with allegations that he coerced a confession out of the five original defendants, who were later exonerated.The company behind a controversial police interrogation technique filed the federal lawsuit. They claim that it was defamed by the series. [Click here for the story].