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  • 71st Primetime Emmy Awards - Show - Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 22, 2019. Jharrel Jerome accepts the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for

    71st Primetime Emmy Awards - Show - Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 22, 2019. Jharrel Jerome accepts the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for "When They See Us." | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 September 2019
Opinion

The Central Park Five, a group of Black and brown men, now known as "exonerated five", were wrongfully accused of raping a white jogger in 1989. 

The Afro-Dominican actor Jharrel Jerome who won the Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series Sunday, paid tribute to the “exonerated five” in his speech. 

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Jerome won the award for his role in the Netflix series “When They See Us” which tells the story of the Central Park five- Korey Wise, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, and Yusef Salaam. 

The Central Park Five, a group of Black and brown men were wrongfully accused of raping a white jogger in 1989.

Jerome played Wise, who was then 16 years-old and served 14 years as an adult in the prison. While giving his acceptance speech, the 21-year-old actor said,  "Most importantly, this is for the men that we know as the Exonerated Five."

"Thirty years ago they were sitting in a prison cell, falsely incarcerated, and today they're in suits styled by designers for the Emmys,” Jerome said pointing out to the five men present during the awards. 

Jerome is also the first Afro-Latino person to win an Emmy award for acting in its history.  

Apart from Jerome’s win, medieval drama "Game of Thrones" closed its run with a fourth Emmy award for best drama series while British comedy "Fleabag" was the winner for best comedy series. 

Billy Porter, the star of LGBTQ series "Pose," became the first openly gay Black man to win a best dramatic actor Emmy, while British newcomer Jodie Comer took the Emmy for her lead actress role as a psychotic assassin in the quirky BBC America drama "Killing Eve."

The Emmys are Hollywood's top honors in television, and the night belonged to Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the star and creator of Amazon Studios' "Fleabag" who also created "Killing Eve."

Waller-Bridge took the trophy for best comedy actress, beating out six-time "Veep" actress winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus as well as last year's Emmy champ Rachel Brosnahan for "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." Waller-Bridge also won an Emmy for comedy writing.

"This is just getting ridiculous!," Waller-Bridge said as she accepted the comedy series Emmy. "It's really wonderful to know, and reassuring, that a dirty, pervy, angry, messed-up woman can make it to the Emmys."

Peter Dinklage was the only one of the nine nominated "Game of Thrones" actors to win, for his supporting role as Tyrion Lannister.

Other first time Emmy winners included Julia Garner for drug trafficking thriller "Ozark," British actor Ben Whishaw for "A Very English Scandal," and Jesse Armstrong, the creator of media conglomerate family drama "Succession."

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