The miniseries is about the case around the Central Park Five. Five black teenage boys were wrongly convicted of the rape of a white woman in New York in 1989 and only released twelve years later after a DNA match. Fairstein, played in the series by Felicity Huffman, was one of the accusers involved in the case.
According to Fairstein, in When They See Us, it seems like she was personally responsible for the boys ending up behind bars. “The defendants portray Ms Fairstein – by her real name – as a racist and unethical villain determined to get innocent black children into prison at all costs,” the indictment reads. She demands apologies, compensation and certain scenes to be removed.
Netflix was previously charged with defamation by a company that trains police personnel in interrogation techniques. That company also states that what has been put in the series is not consistent with the truth.
When They See Us loosened the tongues after the appearance. A professor from Columbia University in New York, who as a prosecutor was partly responsible for the punishment of the boys, resigned after protest from angry students and viewers.