Ava DuVernay’s Netflix mini-series Central Park Five is starting to take shape. Variety reports a few notable additions to the cast, including Niecy Nash (Claws, Scream Queens) and Storm Reid, the 15-year-old actress who worked with the director in A Wrinkle in Time.
Besides Nash and Reid, Aunjanue Ellis (Quantico), Kylie Bunbury (Pitch), Marsha Stephanie Blake (Orange is the New Black, The Good Wife) have also been cast. The newly announced cast members will join John Leguizamo, Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, Felicity Huffman, Jharrel Jerome, and Jovan Adepo.
DuVernay will write and direct the four-part adaptation of the true story of five young Black and Latino men from Harlem named Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman. Nash is set to play Delores Wise, mother of Korey, and Reid will play Lisa, a friend of his.
The story of the infamous Central Park five can be seen as a troubling case study of the country’s racist and often ineffective judicial system. The teenagers, aged 14 to 16, were convicted and subjected to an unfair trial and racist-fueled criticism in the press. Between the five of them, they spent between six and 13 years in prisons for a horrific crime they had no involvement with; their sentences were only vacated in 2002 after a convicted murderer and serial rapist confessed to the crime from prison. In 2004, the Central Park five settled a wrongful conviction lawsuit with the city for $40 million, but have been seeking an additional $52 million in damages.
Said media persecution included none other than Donald Trump calling for the innocent boys's deaths in a full-page newspaper ad. Some people just never change.