The made-for-streaming limited series does not take its title’s inspiration from the 2012 documentary Central Park Five, which dove into the case that left five teenagers wrongfully imprisoned for the majority of their lives. Instead, DuVernay’s creation goes by the name of When They See Us, which can possibly be viewed as the artistic explanation of the white gaze that demonizes blackness.
DuVernay tweeted early Friday morning (March 1) that the Netflix original series will make its debut May 31 with four episodes in total.
Not thugs. Not wilding. Not criminals. Not even the Central Park Five. They are Korey, Antron, Raymond, Yusef, Kevin. They are millions of young people of color who are blamed, judged and accused on sight. May 31. A film in four parts about who they really are. WHEN THEY SEE US. pic.twitter.com/QQBVqo4TYM
“In 1989, five black and brown teen boys were wrongly accused of a crime they did not commit and branded The Central Park Five, a moniker that has followed them since that time. In 2019, our series gives the five men a platform to finally raise their voices and tell their full stories,” she continued in a statement. “In doing so, Korey, Antron, Raymond, Kevin, and Yusef also tell the story of many young people of color unjustly ensnared in the criminal justice system. We wanted to reflect this perspective in our title, embracing the humanity of the men and not their politicized moniker.”
The A Wrinkle In Time director announced she would be creating a project surrounding the Central Park Five case in July 2018 to showcase the stories of wrongfully imprisoned youth of color.
Check out the trailer for When They See Us below.