When They See Us, Ava DuVernay’s critically acclaimed miniseries about the so-called Central Park Five, has been streamed by more than 23 million Netflix accounts worldwide, the filmmaker announced Tuesday on Twitter.
“Imagine believing the world doesn’t care about real stories of black people. It always made me sad,” DuVernay tweeted. “So when Netflix just shared with me that 23M+ accounts worldwide have watched #WhenTheySeeUs, I cried. Our stories matter and can move across the globe. A new truth for a new day.”
Imagine believing the world doesn’t care about real stories of black people. It always made me sad. So when Netflix just shared with me that 23M+ accounts worldwide have watched #WhenTheySeeUs, I cried. Our stories matter and can move across the globe. A new truth for a new day. pic.twitter.com/4vgCo0aKR9
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) June 25, 2019
Netflix’s @strongblacklead account retweeted her shortly after she posted the viewing details. The numbers are particularly notable considering Netflix rarely releases its viewing data.
On June 12, the streamer did say When They See Us was its most-watched series in the U.S. every day since it premiered on May 31, which was also an unusual announcement.
When They See Us recounts the true story of five teenagers — Korey Wise, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson and Raymond Santana — who were wrongfully arrested and convicted in the April 1989 rape of a female jogger in New York’s Central Park.
Police coerced the then 14-to 16-year-olds into confessing. The defendants were black or Hispanic, and the victim was white.
Related Story: Trump Won’t Apologize to Central Park Five: ‘They Admitted Their Guilt’
Donald Trump, then a New York real-estate developer, fueled tensions by taking out a full page newspaper ad calling for the teens to be executed. “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY AND BRING BACK OUR POLICE,” the ad said in all capital letters.
Asked earlier this month if he planned to apologize to the wrongly convicted men, Trump refused.
“You have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt,” he told White House reporters. “If you look at Linda Fairstein and if you look at some of the prosecutors, they think that the city should never have settled that case. So we’ll leave it at that.”
The men’s convictions were vacated in 2002 due to DNA evidence and a confession from serial rapist Matias Reyes.
The miniseries about the case was produced, directed and co-written by DuVernay. The expansive cast included Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Blair Underwood, Christopher Jackson and Joshua Jackson.
Following its release, prosecutor Linda Fairstein slammed the series as an “utterly false narrative.”