The critically acclaimed miniseries about the Central Park Five has been streamed by over 23 million accounts, its director Ava DuVernay claimed in a late-night tweet Wednesday.
The four-part series, When They See Us, which went live on the streaming service on May 31, explored the extraordinary miscarriage of justice that saw five young black men jailed after they were falsely accused of being involved in the savage 1989 rape of a white jogger in New York’s Central Park.
Donald Trump, then a mere New York real-estate developer, stoked tensions by spending thousands of dollars on four full-page adverts in New York newspapers reading: “Bring Back the Death Penalty, Bring Back Our Police!”
The men were only freed in 2002 after another man, Matias Reyes, confessed to the attack, and his DNA proved that he was guilty of the crime. He had met one of the wrongly jailed men, Korey Wise, in the course of his incarceration.
In a 2016 interview with The Guardian, one of the five, Yusef Salaam, said: “I would hear them beating up Korey Wise in the next room. They would come and look at me and say: ‘You realize you’re next.’
“The fear made me feel really like I was not going to be able to make it out.”
Prosecutor Linda Farstein has slammed the series as “so full of distortions and falsehoods as to be an outright fabrication.”