Netflix and its miniseries have become the source to which we all turn for truth. Just because the filmmakers for Netflix are not the traditional Hollywood types does not mean that they do not use cinematic license. We tolerate cinematic license for the sake of a good story. But when we accept the cinematic mini-series as truth, we risk harming those depicted in the series who may differ with the series presentation of “facts.”
In the Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2019, former prosecutorLinda Fairstein, who was involved in supervising the prosecution of the case against the Central Park Five, outlines the errors in the Netflix series, “When They See Us.” There were omissions from the story thread. The most critical fact was that the young men were involved in other crimes that night in Central Park.
However, based on the series, Ms. Fairstein’s publisher has dropped her as an author. She was forced out of a position on the board of her alma mater, Vassar. Based on a TV mini-series, the public has banished her from all activities and her livelihood.
The whole series of events affected the lives of so many. But, at the heart of both sides of the story is injustice. Is it possible that the injustice that occurred in 1989 has resulted in an injustice in 2019? Mob mentality is a dangerous thing, whether in Central Park, in rushes to judgment on guilt, and in condemnation based on a miniseries.