Reynolds contends that the Central Park Five were not innocent bystanders, but were part of a pack of youths who went “wilding” in the park in April 1989. The night resulted in jogger Trisha Meili being raped and beaten. Reynolds also took issue with the film’s portrayal of the teenage youth being beaten during their arrest.
“Please, someone, show me the pictures of them,” Reynolds said to the Daily Mail. “Show me the injuries, show me the black eyes, show me the swollen faces, because every single one of them that came out of that precinct had none of that.”
Reynolds said there was forensic evidence of the Central Park Five’s involvement with Meili. Matias Reyes later confessed to the rape of Meili, with DNA evidence proving his involvement, and the youths were fully exonerated and paid a settlement by New York City.
Prosecutor Linda Fairstein similarly criticized the Netflix series, which she said is “so full of distortions and falsehoods as to be an outright fabrication.” That started some angry tweets, to which series director Ava DuVernay responded, “Expected and typical. Onward…”
Netflix said the four-part When They See Us was viewed by more than 23 million accounts worldwide as of mid-June.