The exonerated men known as the “Central Park 5” sat down with Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay on Sunday, to discuss the impact of the Netflix limited series When They See Us.
The event, held at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles, was presented by Netflix and Winfrey’s OWN network as part of the streamer’s awards season “For Your Consideration” campaign. The gathering included a screening for awards voters and a Q&A.
Winfrey, who served as an executive producer on the critically-acclaimed series, interviewed the real-life five — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise.
The media mogul asked the men about their healing process and the cycle of injustice.
“Here we are 30 years later and not too many things have changed,” Richardson said. “We’re all connected. We’re just a modern-day Scottsboro Boys. So I’m happy and ecstatic that we can start the conversation now, and make sure there will never be another Central Park 5 and make sure we have the platform to make sure of that.”
“Watching this is painful, but it’s necessary,” he added.
[Watch the clip above]
When They See Us debuted on Netflix May 31. The four-part limited series recounts the real-life events in the wrongful conviction and eventual exoneration of the men at the center of the case surrounding the 1989 rape of a female jogger in New York’s Central Park.
The five men were 14 to 16 years old at the time and confessed after being interrogated by police. The defendants were all black or Hispanic, and the victim was white.
Netflix’s four-part series about the case was co-written, produced and directed by Ava DuVernay. Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Jane Rosenthal, Berry Welsh and Robert De Niro all served as executive producers, along with Winfrey.
The expansive cast includes Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Blair Underwood, Christopher Jackson and Joshua Jackson.
Oprah Winfrey Presents When They See Us Now premieres on Wednesday, June 12 at 10 p.m. on OWN and Netflix.