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Central Park 5 Prosecutor Linda Fairstein Resigns From Nonprofit Board Amid 'When They See Us' Backlash
Update: Linda Fairstein has resigned from two board member positions following backlash from When They See Us. She has resigned as a Board of Trustees member at Vassar College, and as a member of the board of directors at Safe Horizon.
"I am told that Ms. Fairstein felt that, given the recent widespread debate over her role in the Central Park case, she believed that her continuing as a Board member would be harmful to Vassar," Elizabeth H. Bradley, president of Vassar College, said in a statement via CNN.
"After careful consideration, Linda Fairstein has made the difficult decision to resign from the Safe Horizon Board of Directors," a statement from Safe Horizon read via TMZ. "We thank her for her decades of pioneering work on behalf of victims of sexual assault and abuse. For more than 40 years, Safe Horizon’s top priority has been empowering victims and survivors."
Read the original story below.
The former prosecutor is on the board of directors for a nonprofit organization but is reportedly facing dismissal from the position.
Ava DuVernay's When They See Us, a drama miniseries centered around the Central Park Five case where five teens were wrongly convicted of raping a woman in Central Park, has resulted in backlash against the woman who prosecuted the case.
Linda Fairstein, who oversaw the prosecution of the case and has become an author, is portrayed by Felicity Huffman in the miniseries as the main mover of the investigation and persecution of the five teens. Since its release, the #cancellindafairstein hashtag popped up on Twitter, leading users to call out Fairstein on her account (which has since been deleted).
In a new interview with The Daily Beast, Fairstein spoke out against the miniseries and its creator, claiming that the Netflix show presents "a totally and completely untrue picture of events and my participation," and puts "words in my mouth that I never said in Oliver Stone fashion."
Fairstein also called it a "basket of lies" and accused DuVernay of orchestrating a public campaign against her.
"She's behind it," Fairstein said. "Her lies are behind it all."
In a separate report from The Daily Beast, DuVernay said Fairstein tried to negotiate with her.
"I don't know if I've told anyone this, but she tried to negotiate conditions for her to speak with me, including approvals over the script and some other things. So you know what my answer was to that, and we didn't talk," DuVernay said.
Fairstein claimed that the conversation never happened.
Aside from the backlash, as well as a call to boycott Fairstein's works as an author, she may also be dismissed as the board memeber of a nonprofit organization.
According to TMZ, staff members at Safe Horizon, a nonprofit aiding victims of abuse and violent crime in NYC, were made aware of the Netflix drama and Fairstein's connection to it during a meeting on May 21. Some staffers also learned that Fairstein was on the board of directors during the meeting too, leading some to question why she was allowed on the board.
Although some staff members have called for Fairstein's dismissal, the CEO has asked for time to evaluate.
Source: The Daily Beast