When They See Us, Ava DuVernay’s deep dive into the wrongly convicted Central Park Five, is Netflix’s most-watched series since its May 31 premiere, the streaming service announced on Wednesday. The director retweeted Netflix’s message with a modest, one-word response, “Faints.”
The popular miniseries tells the tragic story of five teens — Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise — who were variously convicted of assault, rape, and attempted murder based on what they long maintained were coerced and false confessions. Their sentences were eventually vacated in 2002. The Harlem natives sought out the Selma director personally to tell their story.
Netflix doesn’t release their viewership numbers, so it is unknown exactly how many subscribers have been tuning in. When asked for further information, the streaming service directed EW back to their tweet.
DuVernay has been spending time on social media responding to viewers’ questions and comments, including some celebrity fans. LeVar Burton applauded DuVernay’s storytelling, tweeting, “I had to keep breathing. Episode #1 nearly broke my heart, however I’ll keep watching. This is essential viewing for EVERY American! As essential to your understanding of America as was, ROOTS! Brava, @ava.”
Burton famously portrayed Kunta Kinte in the 1977 ABC miniseries Roots, which told the story of an American slave and his descendants. DuVernay was extremely moved by Burton’s message responding, “Goodness, that last line got me. Coming from you. Thank you, Mr. Burton.”