Linda Fairstein, the lead prosecutor in the Central Park Five case, has been dropped by her publisher following the backlash of Netflix’s When They See Us.
Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Random House, confirmed that the publisher and Fairstein “have decided to terminate their relationship,” a spokesperson said. Fairstein has been authored several of the bestselling Alexandra Cooper series of mystery novels.
A social media campaign called #CancelLindaFairstein started trending once the Ava Duvernay-directed series, which focuses on the 1989 Central Park Five case and its botched investigation, debuted last week. The backlash has also forced Fairstein to shut down her social media accounts and to resign from three non-profit boards.
Even Glamour magazine, which named Fairstein the Woman of the Year in 1993, retracted that honor.
When They See Us depicts the story of the five Black boys who were falsely accused and convicted of brutally raping Trisha Meili in New York City’s Central Park in April 1989.
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 has always stood by the initial verdicts, has called the series “a basket of lies.”
“She’s behind it. Her lies are behind it all,” she accused of Ava Duvernay, who revealed earlier this week that Fairstein tried to negotiate her involvement on the series during the scriptwriting process.
She has yet to comment on being dropped by her publisher.