'When They See Us' Actor It's BASED On A True Story Not on Artists to Hold Your Hand

6/6/2019 12:40 AM PDT

'When They See Us' Actor Says Artistic License Should be Expected

EXCLUSIVE

Chris Jackson -- one of the actors in Ava DuVernay's new series about the Central Park 5 -- says it's up to viewers to decide how accurately they portrayed real people ... but most importantly, he wants viewers to be inspired.

Chris was out in NYC Wednesday when we asked him why he wanted to be a part of "When They See Us," and aside from the obvious -- working with Ava -- he says the story was too important not to tell.

As for the backlash against key figures in the case, specifically Linda Fairstein, he says it can't make up for the 5 boys being falsely convicted -- or the ordeal the Central park jogger, Trisha Meili, had to endure.

Chris played the attorney for Raymond Santana -- one of the 5 -- and says he doesn't believe filmmakers have to be married to ALL the facts when retelling real incidents. He says above all else, they're storytellers -- and viewers should do their own research to get ALL the details. 

As we've reported, the Central Park jogger case has been a hot button issue this week due to "When They See Us," and Fairstein's taken the brunt of the backlash.

Many folks, including Santana and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, believe her reckoning is overdue

Fun fact: We cannot tell a lie ... Chris Jackson also played George Washington in the original Broadway cast of "Hamilton."