Entertainment

Oprah's 'When They See Us Now' Special Shows the Scars the Series Didn't Heal


The special, currently airing on Netflix, features When They See Us writer/director Ava DuVernay, cast members, and the five men who were wrongfully imprisoned in a 1989 rape case.


While the series has been a massive success and led to widespread reflection on the failings of the justice system, it was clear from the Winfrey special that the falsely accused men still visibly struggle with the traumas they endured.


In one of the biggest tear-jerking moments, one of the exonerated men, Antron McCray, said that he still hasn't forgiven his now-dead father (played by Michael K. Williams in the Netflix series) for telling him to plead guilty after the latter was allegedly pressured to do so by the police.


McCray, whose mother also died recently, was the most visibly emotional of the five as he explained that while he's still struggling with all that has happened to him, he doesn't believe therapy would help.


While the men seemed to all agree that nothing (including the $41 million settlement they were awarded from New York City ) will truly remedy the years they lost to the case and their incarceration, they still saw the series as an important tool to fight for future systemic change.


DuVernay also focused the conversation on justice system reform when Winfrey asked for her opinion on the avalanche of criticism and consequences now befalling former prosecutor Linda Fairstein, who oversaw the investigation.






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