Linda Fairstein, Central Park Five Prosecutor, Criticizes ‘When They See us’ in Op-Ed

Linda Fairstein

The former Central Park Five prosecutor, Linda Fairstein, wrote an Op-ed claiming ‘When They See Us’ is false and overdramatized.

What We Know:

  • On June 10th, Linda Fairstein wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal calling the new miniseries, ‘When They See Us’ “an outright fabrication.” In this article she explains how the the series portrays the young men as innocent, which she says is not true. She wrote that the story was “full of distortions and falsehoods”.
  • The four part series debuted on Netflix on May 31st. The story was created, written, and directed by Ava DuVernay. DuVernay has also directed other huge projects such as “Selma”, “A Wrinkle in Time”, and “13th”. The series tells the story of five young black and latino men who were wrongfully convicted of assaulting a female jogger in Central Park in 1989. The series is broken up into four one hour episodes that show the young men’s journey through their childhood, conviction, and finally exoneration.
  • The miniseries gained a huge following on social media, as well as nationwide, but it also led to Fairstein being dropped by her publisher. There were also petitions to remove her from the board of non-profit organizations as well. In her article, Fairstein is adamant about how the story is all wrong. She wrote, “Ms. DuVernay’s film attempts to portray me as an overzealous prosecutor and a bigot, the police as incompetent or worse, and the five suspects as innocent of all charges against them. None of this is true.”
  • After seeing the article, film executive, Franklin Leonard, took to twitter. “It appears we’ve come to the part of the cycle where folks wrongly accuse a brilliant filmmaking by @ava of being “so full of distortions and falsehoods as to be an outright fabrication.” (Fairstein’s words. Spoiler: Nope.) Let’s review how that went last time with Selma.” DuVernay retweeted the post and quoted it with, “Expected and typical. Onward…”
  • Fairstein’s op-ed is rattled with accusations against DuVernay and the five men. She even goes so far to say, “It shoudn’t have been hard for Ms. DuVernay to discover the truth.” Although there are two sides to every story, Duvernay chose to tell the truths of the young men who weren’t afforded that chance.

Neither parties have said anything since the release of the article, this story is ongoing.