Actors Blair Underwood and Joshua Jackson sat down with EBONY to discuss their new Netflix miniseries When They See Us, detailing the story of the Central Park Five, a group of Black and Latino boys who were unjustly arrested for the rape of a White woman in 1989, and each of whom wrongfully served between six and 13 years behind bars.
Underwood and Jackson play attorneys for two of the boys falsely accused, and both pointed out that America hasn’t made nearly enough progress in the 30 years since the incident. Jackson believes part of the problem involves White people who refuse to address the “uncomfortable” issue of race in this country.
“In my name as an American citizen, even though I was a child, five children were wrongfully accused and had their innocence robbed from them in this story. I just don’t feel like we have made enough progress, and one of the reasons we haven’t made enough progress is because people like me are uncomfortable in this conversation. Truthfully, people who look like me are uncomfortable in this conversation,” he said.
Underwood emphasized the importance of telling this story today because “Everything old is new again.”
He added, “These men, who are now men, their story specifically needs to be told…We know the headlines, we know the basic story, what happened. But who they were, what that journey was like, the fact that four of them were 14 and 15 years old, and spent six to seven years in prison. Korey was 16 and did hard time at Rikers.”
Check out the clip above. When They See Us will be available tomorrow, May 31, on Netflix.