On Friday (May 31), Netflix released the heart-wrenching miniseries When They See Us. Ava DuVernay’s retelling of the infamous case of the Central Park Five (a group of Black and Latino boys wrongfully convicted of raping a White female jogger in 1989) is now prompting several viewers to call for a boycott for books written by a key figure in this case.
Linda Fairstein, a former District Attorney for the city of Manhattan, played a big role in falsely convicting the group (Raymond Santana, Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Yusuf Salaam, and Antron McCray) of raping the jogger, Tricia Meili. The Central Park Five would be fully exonerated in 2002, after serving 6-13 years in prison. Twelve years later, they received a $41 million settlement from the City of New York
Following the case, Fairstein has had a successful career as a New York Times best-selling author of the Alexandra Cooper crime novels. In the years following the case, she has refused to apologize for her role. In fact, according to TheGrio, she stands behind her decision and believes that the conviction shouldn’t have been overturned. Needless to say, the backlash has been swift.
Now, social media is calling on book retailers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble, to pull her books from the shelves. One of the exonerated Central Park Five, Raymond Santana, gave his support of this boycott in an interview with TMZ.
When They See Us is now streaming on Netflix.