In the face of rising competition, Netflix has been working hard to produce original content. At the end of May 2019, the streaming giant released the poignant and hard-hitting mini-series When They See Us, directed by Ava DuVarney. This mini-series is based on the true story of the Central Park Five. It is a difficult story and could be triggering for people.
What is the True Story Behind When They See Us?
In April of 1989, a white female investment banker, Trisha Meili, was assaulted and raped in the North Woods of Manhattan’s Central Park. On that same night, there were a number of other disturbances and assaults, and more than 30 young people between the ages of 13 and 17 were apprehended. Of these, five were tried for various offenses, including assault, robbery, riot, rape, sexual abuse, and attempted murder with respect to Meili’s rape and other attacks in the park. They were convicted, even though the FBI had already tested the DNA of the rape kit and knew it did not match any of these youths. The conviction was based on coerced confessions. They received sentences ranging from 5 to 15 years.
Four of these teenagers went to juvenile prison, but one of them, Korey Wise, was 16 years old, which meant that he went to adult facilities. The fourth and final episode of When They See Us was devoted to his experience in prison and the abuse that he suffered there.
All of the Central Park Five were later released and their convictions vacated when Meili’s real rapist was uncovered and the DNA evidence confirmed his guilt.
Will There Be a Season 2 for When They See Us?
When They See Us is a Netflix limited series, which means that it is a show with a predetermined number of episodes. This means that there will not be a Season 2.
Even so, there is more of the story to tell. Perhaps there will be other movies or series that deal with these events.
What is the aftermath of When They See Us?
As it was intended to do, When They See Us brought this tragic story back into the public eye. It has also stirred up controversy surrounding the prosecutor of the Central Park 5, Linda Fairstein. At that time, she was the head of the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and had been involved in the coerced confessions. After she left the District Attorney’s office, she became an author and her crime novels are international best-sellers. Her largest series features a fictional Manhattan prosecutor, Alexandra Cooper.
Even after the exoneration of the Central Park Five, she continues to assert that they were guilty and defend her decision to prosecute them. She has been a consultant with respect to several high-profile sex crimes and is a spokesperson against domestic violence and abuse.
As a result of this miniseries, there is now a Change.org petition calling for publishers and booksellers to stop producing or selling Fairstein’s books. As of now, almost 34,000 people have signed this petition.