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Netflix sued by Linda Fairstein over racist portrayal in ‘When They See Us’


NetflixFormer prosecutor Linda Fairstein is suing Netflix over their limited series When They See Us. 

The four-part drama series, released on Netflix in May 2019, explores the lives and families of the five male suspects who were falsely accused then prosecuted on charges related to the rape and assault of a woman in Central Park, New York City.

While it’s true that Fairstein’s office oversaw the Central Park jogger case in 1989, she disagrees with how she was depicted.  

According to Variety, the lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday, alleges, “In the film series, which Defendants have marketed and promoted as a true story, Defendants depict Ms. Fairstein — using her true name — as a racist, unethical villain who is determined to jail innocent children of color at any cost.”

“Throughout the film series, Ms. Fairstein is portrayed as making statements that she never said, taking actions that she did not take — many of them racist and unethical, if not unlawful — in places that she never was on the days and times depicted,” the suit states. “On a number of occasions, Ms. Fairstein is portrayed using inflammatory language, referring to young men of color as ‘thugs,’ ‘animals’ and ‘bastards,’ that she never used.”

Director Ava DuVernay and co-writer Attica Locke were also included in the lawsuit, which Netflix plans to fight. 

“Linda Fairstein’s frivolous lawsuit is without merit,” the streaming service said in a statement. “We intend to vigorously defend When They See Us and Ava DuVernay and Attica Locke, the incredible team behind the series.”

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