Southpaw Wins an Emmy for Oprah Winfrey Presents: When They See Us Now
When They See Us, the Netflix Original miniseries, won critical acclaim for its telling of the story of the “Central Park Five”—five black and Latino teenagers wrongly accused of raping a white female jogger in Central Park. The emotional story touched a nerve among viewers—for highlighting the failure of the legal system and the unfair media treatment the teenagers endured.
Looking to continue the conversation, Netflix approached Southpaw to create a companion special to the miniseries called Oprah Winfrey Presents: When They See Us Now.
In the special, Oprah sat down with When They See Us creator Ava DuVernay, the show’s cast and the real “Central Park Five”—together for the first time—for a powerful conversation about the making of the miniseries and the true story behind it.
“It was an absolute honor to work on this project with Oprah,” said Mark Ritchie, who served as the special’s executive producer and director. “We already had a close relationship with Netflix, and they trusted us creatively to capture this moment in a truthful and authentic way. On a production level, they knew we could meet the level of professionalism that Oprah expects in every project.”
Within the special, Oprah dramatically renamed the “Central Park Five” to the “Exonerated Five.” Emotions ramped up when she asked the exonerated men questions about their lives after prison, what it felt like to watch themselves on screen and coming to peace with the experience.
Both the series and hour-long special gave the five men the voice they deserved to be heard, becoming one of Netflix’s most-watched series this year. Southpaw handled all the production aspects of the special, including set design, filming and editing, the latter which earned Mr. Ritchie and his team an Emmy award.
“I am so proud of the work we did on this special, that it gave these men a chance to tell their story, to humanize them and spotlight the injustice they endured,” Mr. Ritchie said. “It’s an honor to be recognized.”
Oprah Winfrey Presents: When They See Us Now is currently streaming on Netflix and the OWN Network.Show All Campaigns