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Jharrel Jerome wins first Emmy for Lead Actor in ‘‘When They See Us’’


Jharrel Jerome
@jharreljerome // Instagram

Congratulations are in order for Jharrel Jerome!

On Sunday (Sept. 22), Jerome won his first Emmy for best actor in a limited series. While accepting his monumental award, Jerome thanked the crew for the opportunity, his family and the Exonerated Five for their bravery.

“I feel like I should just be in the Bronx right now, chilling, waiting for my mom’s cooking or something,” he said. “But I’m here in front of my inspirations, in front of people I’m so motivated by. The reason I’m here is because of actors I was in the category with.” He continued, “This is for the men who we know as the Exonerated Five. Thank you so much, it’s a blessing.”

During an interview with Us Weekly at the 2019 Emmy Performers Nominee Reception on Friday (Sept. 20), Jerome explained what the project meant to him. “It was a very, very emotional experience and very hard to get through,” he said. “But just to be here tonight, I mean, for the rest of the weekend, and to see them, it’s going to be incredible.”

Back in May, the limited series debuted on Netflix and left many talking. While speaking on the series, director Ava DuVernay, said she wanted to highlight humanity.

“In 1989, five black and brown teen boys were wrongly accused of a crime they did not commit and branded The Central Park Five, a moniker that has followed them since that time. In 2019, our series gives the five men a platform to finally raise their voices and tell their full stories,” DuVernay stated. “In doing so, Korey, Antron, Raymond, Kevin and Yusef also tell the story of many young people of color unjustly ensnared in the criminal justice system. We wanted to reflect this perspective in our title, embracing the humanity of the men and not their politicized moniker.”

Check out Jharrel Jerome’s acceptance speech below.

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