The four-part Netflix series When They See Us earned the streaming giant the most Emmy nominations on Tuesday, with 16 in total, reported CNN.
The series tells the story of the Central Park Five — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise — who were wrongly convicted of a brutal rape and assault of a white woman in New York City in 1989.
When They See Us earned attention for portraying the police abuse that the boys and their families were subject to during the investigation, in addition to the corruption that took place in the justice system during their trials. It specifically highlighted the injustices faced by people of color in the criminal justice system.
Among the Emmy nominations the series earned were Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for Jharrel Jerome, and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for Niecy Nash and Aunjanue Ellis.
Show director, co-writer and producer, Ava DuVernay, also earned nominations for directing and co-writing alongside screenwriter Michael Starrbury.
After the nominations were announced, DuVernay took to Twitter to thank the real Central Park Five behind the television depiction for allowing her to share their stories.
Ava DuVernay's stunning "When They See Us" sits at the top of Netflix nominations with 16 Emmy nods this year. https://t.co/ebPoDq7gTd— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) July 17, 2019
“It all started here. Thank you to the real men for inviting me to tell their story. Thank you @TelevisionAcad for honoring the work. Saluting every single crew and cast member. And saluting Raymond, Korey, Antron, Yusef and Kevin. Love you, brothers.”
The emotionally charged series featured actor Jharrel Jerome, who played Korey Wise, earning his first ever Emmy nomination.
In an interview with Deadline, Jerome spoke about the honor while expressing his gratitude for being able to bring Korey’s story to life for the world to see.
“It’s one thing to be recognized for a general role, but for me to be recognized for playing Korey Wise, that’s what’s hitting me. Just understanding the fact that Korey Wise is his own person, his own inspiration. He’s somebody who the world looks up to now. For me to be the only person on this planet who got the chance to bring that to life, that’s the nomination and the award right there.”
The actor added that he believes the point of the series is to bring attention to the justice system in the U.S., and to speak up about the need for change.
The five men, now known as the Exonerated Five, have received support and sympathy from all over the country as the public is able to see and understand their story in its entirety.