Emmys: ‘When They See Us’ Star Jharrel Jerome Honors the ‘Exonerated Five’ in Acceptance Speech

The real life men formerly known as the “Central Park Five” were in attendence

Last Updated: September 22, 2019 @ 7:01 PM

“When They See Us” star Jharrel Jerome took home they Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series on Sunday and shouted out the “Exonerated Five” while accepting his award from the stage.

The story of Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise, the five men who were falsely convicted for the 1989 sexual assault of jogger in Central Park was dramatized in the Netflix limited series from director Ava DuVernay, and all five men were in attendance for Jerome’s win.

“This is for the men who we know as the Exonerated Five,” Jerome said, to a round of applause from the audience.

Jerome portrayed Wise in the miniseries to critical acclaim. His nomination was one of 16 for the drama, which was also up for Outstanding Limited Series.

At the time of their arrest and conviction and years after they were exonerated, the men were known as the “Central Park Five” in the media, but they were re-introduced to the public under the new moniker at the 2019 BET Awards earlier this year.

“Our next presenters were five teenage boys who were falsely accused and wrongly convicted of an unspeakable crime,” BET Awards host Regina Hall said on the June broadcast. “‘When They See Us’ is a poignant, true story that reminds us all of the racial injustices that continue to happen [to] us all and plague our justice system. It is my sincere honor to introduce to you Yusef Salam, Korey Wise, Kevin, Raymond Santana, and Antron McCray — now known as the Exonerated 5.”

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