Ava DuVernay’s ‘When They See Us’ Leads Emmys With 16 Nominations

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Written by Dana Sanchez
When They See Us
Director Ava DuVernay attends the world premiere of “When They See Us” at the Apollo Theater on Monday, May 20, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Donald Traill/Invision/AP)

Ava DuVernay’s acclaimed Netflix series about the Central Park Five, “When They See Us,” first earned praise from fans and critics, and now the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is paying attention.

The series tells the true story of five young men who were falsely accused and wrongfully convicted of raping jogger Trisha Meili in New York’s Central Park.

Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, and Kevin Richardson are played by Jharrel Jerome, Asante Blackk, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris and Marquis Rodriguez in “When They See Us.”

On Tuesday, the series secured 16 nominations including Outstanding Directing for DuVernay, Outstanding Limited Series, and lead acting nominations for Jerome, Aunjanue Ellis and Niecy Nash, Essence reported.

Here are the Emmy nomination categories for “When They See Us” — some with multiple candidates, per Emmys.com.

  • Outstanding Casting
  • Outstanding Cinematography
  • Outstanding Directing
  • Outstanding Music Composition
  • Outstanding Lead Actor
  • Outstanding Lead Actress
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress
  • Outstanding Limited Series
  • Outstanding Sound Editing
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing
  • Outstanding Writing

Considered the biggest night in TV, this year’s Emmy Awards are scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019.

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“Thank you to the real men for inviting me to tell their story,”
DuVernay tweeted after the nominations were announced. “Thank you @TelevisionAcad for honoring the work. Saluting every single crew and cast member. And saluting Raymond, Korey, Antron, Yusef and Kevin. Love you, brothers,”

When Jerome heard of his Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie, he said he cried so much that you would have thought he had lost a family member — “just pure joy and pure happiness and pride” — he told the Associated Press.