To commemorate the one-year anniversary of Netflix’s limited series, When They See Us, director, Ava DuVernay (Selma, 13th), hosted an Instagram live discussion about the show, Variety asserts. Based on a true story, When They See Us tells the harrowing tale of “The Exonerated Five:” Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana Jr. and Korey Wise, all who were wrongfully convicted of the rape and assault of a woman in Central Park in 1989.
During the event, DuVernay watched the first episode of the four-part drama series and conversed with audiences in real time. Another important aspect of the watch party was the news that Array Now, DuVernay’s production company, launched Array 101. According to Variety, Array 101 is “an educational initiative aimed to bridge the gap between Hollywood and social justice by providing educational resources to help audiences explore the historical context of the story and work through the emotional questions it brings up.”
Array 101 features detailed descriptions of the themes associated with each episode, a field study guide of educational tools for teachers, students and journalist on how to properly use data analysis effectively, and much more.
DuVernay, in an interview with CBS This Morning host, Gayle King, expressed exactly why the resource was needed for her viewers. After many viewers approached her having seen the series, she realized that many of them became so emotional that they could not finish the series, Variety claims. DuVernay thinks that “what I failed to do and many people in Hollywood failed to do and other people failed to do was connect the dots between the thing you make and the people who are watching it, particularly young people,” she said.
She also asserted on Variety “What I found is, to have people sign this petition or everyone go to this protest, everyone may not be interested in taking action in that way. There’s a full array of options that we suggest and really invite people to go further.
Talents on the limited series include: Jharrel Jerome (Moonlight, Selah And The Spades), Asante Blackk (When They See Us, This is Us), Jovan Adepo (Fences, The Leftovers), Michael K. Williams (The Wire, Boardwalk Emprie), Logan Marshall-Green (Demon, Prometheus), Joshua Jackson (The Affair, Fringe), Blair Underwood (Rules of Engagement, Just Cause), Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring, Anabelle), John Leguizamo (Ice Age, Spawn), Felicity Huffman (Otherhood, Georgia Rule), Niecy Nash (Claws, Reno 911!), Aunjanue Ellis (Undercover Brother, The Book of Negroes), Marsha Stephanie Blake (See You Yesterday, Luce), and Kylie Bunbury (Pitch, Game Knight).
Executive producers on the show involve DuVernay, Jeff Skoll (A Fantastic Woman, Food, Inc.), Jonathan King (Everyone’s Gone to the Moon, Leap Up and Down), Oprah Winfrey (Beloved, The Color Purple), Jane Rosenthal (Little Fockers, Meet the Parents) and Berry Welsh (The Wizard of Lies, All We Had). The first season of When They See Us can be streamed on Netflix.