“It’s Expected:” Ava DuVernay Isn’t Shocked That Donald Trump Won’t Apologize To Central Park Five
Ava DuVernay held back no qualms when it came to Donald Trump’s role in the Central Park Five case in 1989. The former reality star and realty tycoon was featured in Netflix’s When They See Us, exactly as he presented himself during the public trial of five young Black and Latino boys (Kevin Richardson, Antron Mccray, Raymond Santana Jr., Korey Wise and Yusef Salaam) who were wrongfully convicted of rapping a white woman in Central Park.
In one of the scenes Aunjanue Ellis, who plays Yusef Salaam’s mother, watches TV alongside her friend as Trump touts the racist notion that people of color have more advantage in America.
Salaam expresses her heartbreak over the fact that Trump called for the murder of her son. Trump believed so strongly about his convictions that he even went so far as to take out full-page ads in several New York based newspapers, calling for prosecutors to pursue the death penalty.
On Tuesday Trump make it clear that he seeks no remorse for his vileness after White House correspondent April Ryan asked him if he at any point felt the need to apologize.
“Why do you bring that question up now? It’s an interesting time to bring it up,” he responded.
“You have people on both sides of that,” he continued. “They admitted their guilt. If you look at Linda Fairstein, and you look at some of the prosecutors, they think that the city should never have settled that case. So we’ll leave it at that.”
Trump’s statement conveniently leaves out the fact that the men were later exonerated 2002, and does not address the negligent tactics used by the NYPD in order to get the teens to admit their guilt after hours of violet interrogation.
Hours later, DuVernay was asked her thoughts about Trump’s response at a WGA screening series in Los Angeles and she made it clear that she wasn’t surprised by Trump’s stubbornness, because his goal is first and foremost divisiveness.
“It’s expected. It’s not a big deal to me. There’s nothing that he says or does in relation to this case, in relation to the lives of five people, people of color, that really has any weight to it,” she said according to Vulture. “It’s not a reality. We already know this. So it’s kind of like, why do we keep banging our heads against the wall?”
DuVernay also said she was more shocked that Trump didn’t respond to When They See Us by using his favorite mode of communication, Twitter.
“I’m surprised it took him so long, I was waiting every day to get a tweet!” she continued. “Our focus, when we look at this work, when we hear the stories of these men, should be so much more than a rage tweet back and participating in that negativity, which is so unproductive. I wish I had a more juicy sound bite for you. It’s just like, I don’t care.”