Without any superfluous comment, actress-producer Ava DuVernay made her thoughts crystal clear about Donald Trump and the Central Park Five last night by tweeting a clip from her Netflix miniseries When They See Us.
Within hours of the president reasserting his misleading claim that the so-called Five “admitted their guilt,” DuVernay tweeted a clip from the series in which actual archival footage, used in the Netflix series, shows an ’80s-era Trump proclaiming how he’d “love to be a well-educated black” because of all the advantages society has to offer them. We then see that the 1989 Trump is being watched on TV by the mother of one of the boys wrongly accused of raping the so-called Central Park Jogger.
“They want to kill my son,” says the mother, Linda McCray (played by Marsha Stephanie Blake). “That devil, that devil wants to kill my son….They’re gonna have to come for me first.” (See the tweet below.)
As chronicled in DuVernay’s Netflix series, Trump took a leading role in calling for the deaths of the five falsely accused boys (DNA tests exonerated them in 2002, years after their convictions and imprisonment). Prior to the boys’ trials, Trump took out full-page newspaper ads calling for New York to reinstate the death penalty, in response to the horrendous crime (a serial rapist, unconnected to the boys, later confessed).
The miniseries has brought renewed attention onto the so-called Central Park Five case, including the role that former prosecutor Linda Fairstein played. Yesterday, during a media scrum, Trump was asked about his role in the case and a possible apology to the falsely accused (Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana Jr. and Korey Wise).
“Why do you bring that question up now?,” Trump asked. “It’s an interesting time to bring it up. You have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt. 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.”
Later that night, DuVernay attended a Women in Entertainment and Writers Guild of America West screening of the Netflix miniseries, and told The Los Angeles Times about Trump, “It’s expected. There’s nothing he says or does in relation to this case or the lives of black people or people of color that has any weight to it. It’s not our reality, there’s no truth to it.”