Sunday evening, 21-year-old Jharrel Jerome took home an Emmy Award on his first try after winning the honor of Best Lead Actor in a Limited Series for his portrayal of Korey Wise in Netflix and Ava DuVernay’s When They Us series, the dramatic retelling of the events surrounding the case of the Central Park Five.
It marked Jerome’s first Emmy nomination and, subsequently, his first win. With the now Exonerated Five in his presence, Jerome thanked his family and the five men whose stories were the basis of the platform that got him to this point.
“It’s what I prayed for — I wanted it for the five men,” Jerome told The New York Times of the series’ success ahead of the awards show. “I prayed that the title would come to fruition, and that we would actually see these men for who they are by name, not by the moniker given to them, ‘the Central Park Five.’ So in terms of seeing the impact reach the world, that right there is a job done for me. Even if just one person says ‘Wow, I can relate, and I can feel’ — it moves me. It’s the biggest blessing, and it goes beyond any nomination and any award. So I’m just happy now.”