Jerome accepted the accolade Sunday (Sept 22) at the awards ceremony at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. In the series directed by Ava DuVernay, the Bronx native portrayed Korey Wise, one of the Exonerated Five who were falsly accused of a crime he and four others didn’t commit. Visibly emotional, the 22-year-old gave thanks to his parents during his acceptance speech.
“I feel like I should just be in the Bronx right now, chillin,’ waiting for my mom’s cooking but I’m here,” he said. “But I’m here in front of people I’m so motivated by.”
The young actor was up against some of the best in the business such as Moonlight co-star Mahershala Ali (True Detective), Benicio Del Toro (Escape at Dannemora), Hugh Grant (A Very English Scandal), Jared Harris (Chernobyl) and Sam Rockwell (Fosse/Verdon).
Jerome also thanked Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and as he rightfully shouted “King” Korey Wise.
“Most important[ly], this is for the men known as The Exonerated Five,” he said as the men stood on their feet. “Thank you so much. It’s an honor, it’s a blessing.”
Watch the moment above.
TV Guide reports Jerome’s win was “initially considered a lock,” due to Chernobyl, the HBO series that won seven Creative Arts Emmys.