From the moment “When They See Us” began streaming on Netflix, critics predicted Jharrel Jerome would contend for an Emmy for his portrayal of Korey Wise, one of five teenagers wrongfully convicted in the 1989 Central Park jogger case. He didn’t just contend, though. Jerome took home the award for best actor in a limited series, becoming the first Afro-Latino to win an Emmy for acting.
The 21-year-old Dominican American, who studied acting at Ithaca College, beat out established performers and Oscar winners Mahershala Ali, Benicio Del Toro, Hugh Grant, Jared Harris and Sam Rockwell.
A four-part miniseries directed by Ava DuVernay, “When They See Us” tells the story of five Harlem teenagers who were wrongfully convicted for the rape of a woman in Central Park in 1989. They were eventually exonerated. Jerome dedicated his award to the “Exonerated Five,” all of whom were in attendance. They reacted by giving the young actor a standing ovation.