Central Park Five Receive an Emotional Standing Ovation at the Emmy Awards

One of the most powerful moments from the 2019 Emmy Awards was when Jharrel Jerome won an Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a limited series. The actor is only 21 years old and won for his portrayal of Korey Wise in the Netflix drama When They See Us.

Not only is Jerome the first Afro-Latino actor to be nominated for and win in an acting category, but he is also the youngest actor to win Lead Actor in a Limited Series. He beat out Mahershala Ali, Benicio del Toro, Hugh Grant, Jared Harris and Sam Rockwell for the award.

The four-part series tells the story of the Central Park Five and is directed by Oscar winner Ava DuVernay. Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, Yusef Salaam, and Korey Wise were five black and Latino teens wrongfully-convicted of a violent crime in New York City during the 1980s.

After thanking his parents, a visibly emotional Jerome dedicated his award to the men, saying “this is for the men that we know as the Exonerated Five.” The five men received a standing ovation from the audience at Jerome’s dedication.

“I felt like I was in a championship game, and we went through our final hurrah,” Jerome said in his speech. “Thirty years ago they were sitting in a prison cell, falsely incarcerated, and today they’re in suits styled by designers for the Emmys.”

DuVernay hinted that they would attend the Emmys back in August, saying “They are all my date for the Emmys … I’m going to have them all out.”