Critics Choice Awards 2020: Ava DuVernay thanks critics for letting 'When They See Us' take stage
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay's 'When They See Us' won the Best Limited Series at the Critics Choice Awards in California on Sunday and DuVernay took the opportunity to point out the lack of wins for her series at the ceremony.
The moving and powerful series tells the story of the Central Park Five, the five teenage boys of color who were wrongfully convicted of rape and assault charges of a white female jogger in the park.
"Thank you to the critics for finally letting us take the stage," Duvernay said after receiving a standing ovation for her and the rest of the crew took the stage. DuVernay pointed out that the film had been the fruit of labor for 179 actor and 312 crew members and calling it an "act of love" she said, "The series began with a tweet from Raymond Santana, and now he and Antron [McCray], Kevin [Richardson], Yusef [Salaam] and the mighty Korey Wise stand for something larger than they ever imagined. They stand for justice. They shine bright like the gems that they always were, but that we never saw. If you watch their story and felt something at that moment, I invite you to consider doing something. There's no right thing to do. Do what you feel, where you are, but don't let your anger and sadness be all."
Raymond Santana is an exoneree who was one of the Central Park 5. "Cases like this are happening all around the world, in this country, most specifically on our watch," the creator said, "People who are poor and innocent are behind bars while the rich and guilty walk free and gain power. The late poet Audre Lorde told us exactly what to do at times like this. She said when we speak, we are afraid our words will not be heard, or welcomed. But when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak."
She also thanked Netflix, saying they let a "black woman do her thing." The series won the category while it was up with 'Catch-22', 'Chernobyl', 'Fosse/Verdon', 'The Loudest Voice', 'Unbelievable' and 'Years and Years'.