Central Park rape case series 'When They See Us' nabs 16 Emmy nods, the most for Netflix

"Thank you to @TelevisionAcad for honoring the work. Saluting every single crew and cast member," director Ava DuVernay tweeted.
Jharrel Jerome in "When They See Us."
Jharrel Jerome in "When They See Us."Atsushi Nishijima / Netflix

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By Minyvonne Burke

The creators behind the new Netflix limited series "When They See Us" have a lot to celebrate after receiving 16 Emmy nominations — the most for the streaming giant this year.

Nominations for the 71st annual Emmy Awards were announced Tuesday morning. "When They See Us" is up for a slew of awards, including outstanding limited series, outstanding supporting actor and actress in a limited series, and outstanding writing for a limited series.

The series, which debuted in May, tells the true story of Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray and Kevin Richardson, five black and Hispanic teenagers, who were wrongfully convicted of raping a white female jogger in 1989.

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The youths, dubbed the "Central Park Five" by the media at the time of the case, were eventually exonerated in 2002. They have now adopted the name "The Exonerated Five."

Director and filmmaker Ava DuVernay received an Emmy nomination for outstanding directing. In a tweet Tuesday, she thanked The Exonerated Five.

"Thank you to the real men for inviting me to tell their story," she wrote. "Thank you to @TelevisionAcad for honoring the work. Saluting every single crew and cast member. And saluting Raymond, Korey, Antron, Yusef and Kevin. Love you, brothers."

Actor Jharrel Jerome, 21, who plays Korey in the series, also received a nomination for outstanding lead actor in a limited series. This was his first Emmy nod.

"Blessed, honored, bewildered, shocked," Jerome wrote on Instagram. "Ill have better words to say a little later but right now i cant breathe, I LOVE YOU FAM."

Actresses Niecy Nash and Aunjanue Ellis are both up for outstanding lead actress in a limited series.

"SEATED, at a different table," Nash tweeted. "They told me I could only do broad comedy.... I invited them to think differently! Thank you @Ava @TelevisionAcad for seeing me and thank you all for seeing the Exonerated Five! Justice is fought for ~ Love Wins #dramaticActress."

The 71st Emmy Awards airs Sept. 22 on Fox.