On Monday, the director shared photos of herself surrounded by the cast and crew of her acclaimed Netlfix series, “When They See Us,” and the men known as the Exonerated 5: Antron McCray, Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana Jr. and Yusef Salaam.
“When They See Us” put the spotlight on the five Black and Latino men, who as teenagers were wrongly convicted of a raping a 28-year-old female jogger in New York City’s Central Park. They each served time behind bars before their convictions were vacated in 2002, after DNA evidence and a confession linked a serial rapist and murderer to the crime.
Jharrel Jerome won a Lead Actor Emmy — his first Emmy nom and win — at Sunday night’s ceremony for his portrayal of Wise in “When They See Us.” The four-part series earned a total of 16 Emmy nominations, scoring the most noms for Netflix this year.
During his acceptance speech, Jerome, 21, dedicated his award to McCray, Richardson, Santana Jr., Salaam and “King Korey Wise,” who all attended the show.
DuVernay shared photos that captured some of their emotional reactions to Jerome’s win.
Other photos show cast members of “When They See Us” celebrating at an after-party with the men portrayed in the series.
One powerful shot shows Jerome embracing Wise, who’s proudly holding the 21-year-old’s Emmy.
“When They See Us” also won an Emmy for Outstanding Casting for a Limited Series, Movie or Special at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards earlier this month. Casting director Aisha Coley, Billy Hopkins and Ashley Ingram were credited for the win.
Although Twitter users were disappointed “When They See Us” did not win in the Outstanding Limited Series or Directing categories on Sunday night, many also noted that DuVernay was a winner regardless.
Filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry called the director the “biggest winner of the night.”
“She used filmmaking to help give 5 innocent men their lives back in a real way and helped changed the narrative around their story,” he wrote on Twitter.