Brow Beat

Oprah Winfrey Will Interview Ava DuVernay and the Real Central Park Five

Ava DuVernay and Jharrel Jerome on the set of a courtroom.
Ava DuVernay and Jharrel Jerome filming When They See Us.
Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

When They See Us, Ava DuVernay’s new limited series on Netflix, follows the five boys of color who were falsely accused of a brutal rape in Central Park in 1989. The group thereafter known as the “Central Park Five” were coerced into confessing and serving time for the crime before DNA evidence eventually exonerated them a decade later.

Next week, DuVernay will continue to share the real stories of Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, and Korey Wise with the world—though this time, it will be through a group interview with Oprah Winfrey. According to Deadline, Netflix and OWN are set to debut a special called Oprah Winfrey Presents When They See Us Now featuring two interviews: one with the cast of the miniseries, another with the real five men it’s based on. Notably, the event will mark Winfrey’s first interview with the men, at least one of whom has been waiting for this moment for years:

DuVernay’s When They See Us, which she directed and co-wrote, has been hailed as a moving dramatization of the five men’s stories. It’s intimate and personal, following each boy individually rather than falling into the base tendency to categorize them as a single unit. The result, as Slate’s Willa Paskin writes, is “a new kind of Must-See TV” that “appeals not to our pleasure centers but to our higher minds, our civic responsibility, our duty to watch for the greater good.”

Winfrey’s conversation with the men will premiere June 12 on OWN and Netflix.