According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ava DuVernay will write and direct an upcoming limited series about the Central Park Five for Netflix. The series will mark her second project for the online streaming service, following the Oscar-nominated 2016 documentary, 13th.
The Central Park Five refers to five men — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise — who were wrongly convicted in 1990 of assaulting and raping a female jogger, Trisha Meili, in Manhattan’s Central Park the year prior. In 2002, a convicted murderer, Matias Reyes, confessed to the crime, which was confirmed by DNA evidence.
“The story of the men known as Central Park Five has riveted me for more than two decades,” DuVernay said in a press release. “In their journey, we witness five innocent young men of color who were met with injustice at every turn — from coerced confessions to unjust incarceration to public calls for their execution by the man who would go on to be the President of the United States.”
Of course, that man is none other than President Donald Trump who reportedly spent $85,000 placing ads in New York City newspapers calling for the death penalty to be reinstated. Even though evidence has since vindicated the five young men, Trump has referred to them as guilty as recently as 2016.
DuVernay’s five-episode project will focus on each of the five teenagers and the systemic racism in our criminal justice system that often leads to wrongful convictions. The series will span from 1989 to 2014 when New York City finally settled a lawsuit first filed by the men in 2003.
The currently unnamed series is set to premiere on Netflix in 2019.