“In 1989, five black and brown teen boys were wrongly accused of a crime they did not commit and branded The Central Park Five, a moniker that has followed them since that time. In 2019, our series gives the five men a platform to finally raise their voices and tell their full stories,” said DuVernay today on the name change.
“In doing so, Korey, Antron, Raymond, Kevin and Yusef also tell the story of many young people of color unjustly ensnared in the criminal justice system,” the 13th and A Wrinkle In Time helmer added. “We wanted to reflect this perspective in our title, embracing the humanity of the men and not their politicized moniker.”
DuVernay also posted a teaser look at When They See Us today:
Not thugs. Not wilding. Not criminals. Not even the Central Park Five. They are Korey, Antron, Raymond, Yusef, Kevin. They are millions of young people of color who are blamed, judged and accused on sight. May 31. A film in four parts about who they really are. WHEN THEY SEE US. pic.twitter.com/QQBVqo4TYM
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 1, 2019
Starring Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo and Felicity Huffman among others, When They See Us runs from 1989, when five Harlem teens were incorrectly convicted first in the media and then twice in the courts for the brutal rape of a jogger in the NYC park, to 2014 when Santana, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, and Korey Wise saw their names finally cleared.
DuVernay created, co-wrote and and directed the entire limited series, which wrapped production in NYC last fall. Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey/Harpo Films, Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh from Tribeca Productions and DuVernay EP When They See Us.