Speaking to a room full of television reporters Sunday afternoon at the TCA Winter Press Tour, Laura Ricciardi, Moira Demos and Lisa Nishimura took questions on the future of their series, the current status of Steven Avery and accusations that their 10-part Netflix documentary purposefully hid parts of the story.
As to the latter point, all three filmmakers remained firm in their position of objectivity with a “perspective.”
“We never injected us into the process,” Demos said. “We followed the facts where they led us.”
But when pressed about specific reports questioning their fair and balanced execution, the filmmakers said there were members of the media with a vested interest in keeping Avery behind bars.
“The media is demonizing this man in order to prove his guilt,” Demos said. “It’s history repeating itself.”
In a somewhat ironic twist, the filmmakers were pressed repeatedly (by the same audience member) about police reports pertaining to Steven Avery’s past — even after they said the news, founded or otherwise, had no bearing on the fair treatment of Avery in court.
“We don’t consider this advocacy journalism,” Demos said. “We’re not taking sides. This is a social justice documentary. […] We never injected ourselves into the process. We’re not even on-screen narrators.”
The filmmakers did confirm Avery has obtained new legal counsel, and, at the time they last spoke to him (before his new lawyer came on board), Avery was working as his own attorney and seeking an appeal to a motion passed against him. They also said Avery requested access to the Netflix series that’s being widely binged across the world, but his request was denied by the warden and his social worker.
The filmmakers also answered questions about fan reaction to the documentary, specifically regarding the petitions calling for Avery’s release circulating online that gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures.
“People were very affected by the series and wanted to do something,” Demos said. “We’re urging people to think more deeply.”
Demos also urged the crowd to take jury duty seriously; a sound warning in relation to Avery’s plight and one readily applicable to every American.
“My main takeaway is each of us are entitled to justice […] no matter how we’ve been characterized or demonized,” Ricciardi said.
Nothing was confirmed regarding a follow-up to the series or choosing a new case to investigate, but Demos said, “If there are significant developments, we’ll be there. And we’re looking at future stories as well.”
“Making a Murderer” is streaming now on Netflix.