Call it the When They See Us effect. After the success of Ava DuVernay’s miniseries on the Central Park Five case, Netflix has acquired a documentary based on the case of Cyntoia Brown.
For those unfamiliar with the case, Brown was sentenced to jail for murdering a 43-year-old man who paid to have sex with her. To quote NPR, Brown has been described by her supporters “as a victim of human trafficking who was preyed upon when she was homeless.” Indeed, she has stated that she was forced into prostitution by a pimp, and that life is what led her to kill in self-defense. However, despite her life story, the then-16-year-old Brown was tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison. However, thanks to a ten-year legal battle and support from people around the country, including celebrities like Rihanna, Kim Kardashian West, Viola Davis, Amy Schumer and Ashley Judd, Brown will now be released from jail on parole August 7.
The Hollywood Reporter states that Daniel H. Birman is directing the documentary for Netflix, which comes after he tackled Brown’s case in the 2011 PBS Independent Lens project, Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story. Along with re-exploring the case in the new project for Netflix, Birman will also provide viewers with updates to Brown’s story. Birman will also executive produce the film with Susy Garciasalas Barkley as producer. Megan Chao will act as supervising producer.
It would seem that Netflix is securing the market when it comes to programming that illuminates the injustices shown towards Black Americans in the justice system. Case in point: as we recently reported, When They See Us has been the most-watched Netflix series every day since its May 31 debut and has been viewed by over 23 million Netflix accounts worldwide.
Photo: ABC News screenshot