While it may feel like everyone you know has seen Making a Murderer based on the buzz surrounding the series, there's still one important person who's never seen a minute of footage: The series' subject, Steven Avery.
Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, the documentary filmmakers who crafted the Netflix series, revealed to reporters at the 2016 Winter TCA Press Tour on Sunday that Avery been allowed to watch any of the 10 episodes that made him a household name. "Steven does not have access to the series," Ricciardi admitted. "He asked the warden and his social worker if he would be able to see it and his request was denied."
While Avery hasn't been granted permission to view the series, he has been in contact with the filmmakers since its release and the resulting conversations could find their way into a potential follow-up. "I think today marks four weeks since the series launched and what we've managed to do in the past four weeks is we've had several telephone conversations with Steven Avery and we did record those calls with the eye of including them in future episodes should there be more episodes," Ricciardi said. "But we have not returned to Wisconsin in the past four weeks."
When the pair was pressed further on any plans they may have to continue telling Avery's story, Demos remained cagey. "As we've said before, in relation to this story, this story is ongoing, these cases are open, but it's real life," she said. "You don't know what's going to happen. We are ready to follow these. If there are significant developments, we'll be there."
Facing accusations that the series left out key evidence that may not support the narrative they were crafting, Ricciardi countered, "I would say that, and we've said this before, that this is a documentary…we do not set out to convict or exonerate anyone."
"We were not putting on a trial, but a film," she added.
As for the prosecution's claim that Making a Murderer failed to include their perspective, Ricciardi argued that attempts to gain access to the prosecutors had been made. "We sought universal access. What we got was less than that," she said. "We're aware now that the prosecutor is coming out and saying his point of view is not included. We disagree."
The pair also admitted that their project had a purpose beyond telling Avery's story. "I think if you watch this series, I think it's clear that the American criminal justice system has some problems and I think it's urgent that we address them," Demos said. "It's writ large across our country."
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All 10 episodes of Making a Murderer are available to stream on Netflix now.