As if actor Jharrel Jerome hasn’t already had the best year ever with the release of the highly successful series ‘When They See Us’ by Ava Duvernay, his efforts have greatly paid off as he became the first, and youngest, Afro-Latino (and Dominican) to win an Emmy award for lead actor Sunday night at the 71st Annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.
Visibly emotional, 21-year-old Jerome accepted the accolade and gave thanks to his parents during his acceptance speech. “I feel like I should just be in the Bronx right now, chillin,’ waiting for my mom’s cooking but I’m here,” he said. “But I’m here in front of people I’m so motivated by.”
Jerome also thanked the men behind the true story: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and “King” Korey Wise. “Most important[ly], this is for the men known as The Exonerated Five,” he said as the men stood on their feet. “Thank you so much. It’s an honor, it’s a blessing.” Check out his emotional acceptance speech here.
Jharrel played Korey Wise in the series, one of the five teens wrongfully convicted for the 1989 rape and beating of a white, female jogger. Korey was the oldest of the accused at 16 and served 12 years behind bars before he and the four others were exonerated in 2002.
Congratulations to Jharrel Jerome for making history at the Emmys!