Linda Fairstein, the lead prosecutor in the Central Park Five case, has been forced to close all of her social media accounts following the backlash from the critically-acclaimed Netflix series When They See Us.
Since the series, which focuses on the 1989 case and its botched investigation, dropped this past weekend, viewers have been consistently calling for Fairstein’s comeuppance for her role in the case. Fairstein worked to solve Trisha Meili’s case in which she was raped and assaulted in New York City’s Central Park in April 1989.
Five Black boys were falsely accused and convicted of brutally raping Meili. After losing their innocence and spending six to 13 years in prison each, a serial rapist confessed to the crime, freeing the young men and exonerating them. Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise, Raymond Santana, and Kevin Richardson eventually received a $41 million settlement from the city of New York in 2014.
Fairstein, who is played by Felicity Huffman in the series, stands by the initial verdicts.
Many view her as having been instrumental in obtaining the boys’ coerced statements of guilt, and they have taken to using the #CancelLindaFairstein hashtag to make their point.
The dragging was enough for her to shut down her Twitter and Instagram accounts, which she mainly uses to promote her bestselling Alexandra Cooper series of mystery novels.
Many are also asking leading retailers, such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble, to drop her books from distribution. There are also calls for her publisher Simon & Schuster to drop her from their portfolio.
The backlash appears to be moving beyond social media.
TMZ reported Tuesday that Safe Horizon, a prestigious New York City-based non-profit that works with victims of abuse and violent crime, allegedly wants to drop Fairstein from their board. Staffers are said to be angry that she is even involved with the organization.
ESSENCE reached out to Safe Horizon for comment, but hasn’t heard back yet.