In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, DuVernay said that when the case was first publicized, she was shocked at how the media’s misinterpretation of slang in the Central Park Five case led to the further dehumanization of the boys. One scene in Episode Two shows how, after some of the boys told detectives that they were “wilin’ out” in Central Park on the same night the rape occurred, the media interpreted the phrase to mean “wilding,” when it just means having fun or hanging out. The screen cuts to tabloids and newspapers with the words “WILDING” splashed across them as an indictment. Audio clips play newscasters interpreting “wilin’ out” as a description of violent acts committed by “wolf packs” of young people. To translate “wilin’ out” as “wilding” cements a vision of these innocent boys as “wild,” as savage, as animal, as other, a vision that’s rooted in the institutional dehumanization of Black people.
ADVERTISEMENT – SCROLL DOWN