Jharrel Jerome just won his first Emmy for his role in When They See Us, and it was an absolutely beautiful moment. For the Exonerated Five, the men represented in the powerful Netflix limited series, for Jerome himself, and perhaps most of all, for his mother. Indeed, Jharrel Jerome's mother cheering for him at the 2019 Emmy Awards was emotional and sweet and moving. I think every mother felt all of those beautiful feelings with her, to be honest.
Jerome won Best Actor in a Limited Series for his role as Korey Wise, one of five young men who were wrongly accused of raping a woman in Central Park, New York in 1989, in Ava DuVernay's miniseries When They See Us. He won his very first Emmy in a category full of prestigious, accomplished actors like Hugh Grant for A Very English Scandal, Sam Rockwell for Fosse/Verdon, Jared Harris for Chernobyl, and more. When Jerome won, the entire Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California erupted in cheers. It was a big deal for a young, rising Latinx actor to win an Emmy while in competition with these other men. But there was one person at the Emmys who was more excited than anyone else there.
Jharrel Jerome's mom, Radoyka Jerome, who looked like she was ready to burst with love and pride and excitement.
I imagine it helped that Jerome offered such heartfelt gratitude for his mother in his acceptance speech. Right at the very beginning, even, when he pointed out, "I feel like I should be in the Bronx now, chilling, waiting for my mom’s cooking or something. But I’m here in front of my inspirations."
The emotional young actor went on to thank DuVarney for casting him in the important role and dedicating his award to the Exonerated Five, Wise along with Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Raymond Santana, all of whom were at the Emmys. And all of whom gave Jerome a standing ovation when he was announced as the winner in his category and looked incredibly moved when he said, "Most importantly. This is for the men that we know as the Exonerated Five... Thank you so much. It's an honor. It's a blessing."
Of course, he also thanked his mother, who was pretty much losing her mind in the audience. And Twitter absolutely loved seeing her mom enthusiasm on display.
There is a long tradition at awards shows like the Emmys to bring mothers along for emotional support. Actors like Bradley Cooper, Charlize Theron, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lady Gaga, and more have all brought their moms along with them when they've hit the red carpet. And after seeing Jharrel Jerome's mom, cheering and pointing at her son and just living in that moment along with him, I can't imagine who else you would want to bring with you. Who else is going to be as excited, as invested, as deep in your corner as your mom?
This is obviously a message to my own sons, ya know, just in case.