‘Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story’ Premiere Draws 1.2M Viewers Over Two Cable Networks

The numbers are in for the first installment of the six-part documentary Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, which aired Monday on Paramount Network and BET. The two-net bow drew 1.2M viewers in Live+Same day
The rating was about evenly split betw…

The numbers are in for the first installment of the six-part documentary Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, which aired Monday on Paramount Network and BET. The two-net bow drew 1.2M viewers in Live+Same day The rating was about evenly split between the sister Viacom nets: BET drew a .39 among persons 18-49 and Paramount Network got a .31. Part 2 airs at 10 PM Monday. Produced by Shawn Carter and the Cinemart Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story that recounts the…

‘Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story’ Review: Documentary Series is a Powerful Condemnation of a Trial and a Nation

The six-part series draws a line between Martin’s 2012 death and pivotal moments in America in the six years since.

There are few who will watch “Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” who will come to the series completely unfamiliar with the individual at its center. From his 2012 shooting death to the emerging generation of activists and engaged citizens that arose from the 2013 verdict in George Zimmerman’s resultant murder trial, the name Trayvon Martin carries with it associations in different corners of the country. If Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason‘s six-part documentary series shows one thing definitively, it’s that Martin’s senseless killing has come to symbolize so much more about how America sees itself today and the elements of American life that remain unchanged after centuries of turmoil.

One clear goal of “Rest in Power” is to reframe the story as that of individual human beings and not as merely pawns in an ideological or societal struggle. The breadth of interview subjects helps to ensure that Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman are not merely presented as abstract figures. Martin is shown as a student, an aspiring pilot, someone who recognized which of his own decisions he was unhappy with. Zimmerman is described as someone caught in a crisis of identity who chose to embrace an angry worldview, even when presented with plenty of alternatives. Family members, journalists, legal experts, and activists alike offer their own analyses of how Martin’s story dovetails with many others’ throughout American history.

Like many exemplary pieces of recent stories about criminal miscarriages of justice, “Rest in Power” is not a forensic analysis. Rather than being concerned with seizing a definitive answer to the events of February 26, 2012, Furst and Nason take a wider view of the prevailing cultural attitudes and prejudices that may have contributed to Martin’s death, Zimmerman’s eventual acquittal or both. (If anything, there’s a subtle condemnation of the national news media’s obsession with forcing Martin‘s parents to confront a very crime scene in which their son was murdered.) Even while considering Martin, Zimmerman, and the various individuals involved in the trial procedure as living, complex human beings, “Rest in Power” makes Stark observations about how the investigation and trial became a prime example of narrative manipulation and double standards.

Despite the wide-ranging subject matter, one thing “Rest in Power” returns to is Zimmerman’s 911 call, made to a non-emergency phone line right before he pursued Martin. With each new layer of understanding, that call comes to mean different things. That repetition of Zimmerman’s own words becomes a lens through which “Rest in Power” wrestles with Florida’s “stand your ground” laws, the creeping resurgence of white supremacist groups in the US, and the history of the city of Sanford  itself and the institutional foundations to help exacerbate a stunted pursuit of justice. As “Rest in Power” looks to show how Martin’s death helped to motivate thousands of people to join a nationwide fight for civil rights, it puts Zimmerman’s actions in a historical framework that extends well beyond a single Florida neighborhood.

As the series moves from Martin’s death to the trial that would begin 16 months later, “reasonable doubt” becomes a refrain through interview subjects and contemporaneous news footage alike. “Rest in Power” threads a skepticism of the prosecution’s strategy and the defense’s tactics, becoming an examination of how certain ideas floating in the public consciousness metastasized when introduced in a procedural environment. As the events of the trial make their way into the national news conversation, conservative outlets bear a massive share of the series’ condemnation. But there are still moments (Wolf Blitzer’s response to the testimony of Martin’s friend, the punditification of Headline News channel’s coverage) which, by their inclusion, serve as a subtle indictment of American televised discourse as a whole rather than one ideological side.

Rest in Power Trayvon Martin Story Paramount

“Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story”

Trayvon Martin Foundation

“Rest in Power” also posits the response to Martin’s death as a turning point for the social media age. Whether in the specific origins of the Black Lives Matter movement or in the way that iPhone videos, dashboard videos and bodycams gained greater visibility, “Rest in Power” takes Martin’s story and puts it as the beginning of a new digital chapter in a book long been composed in American history.

Both of Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, are featured prominently in the series, not only sharing their recollections of a fraught trial process, but how each of them came to represent more than they expected. That rise in public visibility, combined with the case becoming a lightning rod for a growing sentiment among far-right groups, resulted in an emotional toll that “Rest in Power” gives them ample time to put words to.

Context becomes a major element of “Rest in Power.” From a historical viewpoint, the same overwhelming news cycle that consumes much of the country today makes connecting all of these strands an even more daunting task to condense into six episodes. Each installment begins with an energetic overview of the hour to follow, summarizing its emotional scope in a series of jarring, disparate images.

Some episodes of “Rest in Power” connect these ideas better than others, particularly when that focus on the individual takes precedence. That specificity eventually gives way to a rapid-fire, atmospheric throughline from Zimmerman to Charlottesville. As both proof of the series’ thesis and another example of why the immediacy of this project is so difficult to capture, “Rest in Power” also seeks to draw in February’s school shooting in Parkland as another representative consequence of the same conditions that led to Zimmerman’s acquittal.

But even if some of these episodes lack a certain sharpness in execution, there’s a thematic consistency to the idea put forth by many different participants in this series: No instance of injustice, be it Martin’s death or that of Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Philando Castile and the mounting list of names, can be taken in isolation. As a cultural nexus, somehow signifying what had come before and what loomed in the near future, “Rest in Power” is a representative collage. A turning point in some ways, a reminder of what hasn’t changed in others, it’s a time capsule for a country where this could not only happen, but happen again.

Grade: B+

“Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” airs Monday nights at TKTKKT on Paramount Network and BET. 

Interviewees in Jay-Z’s Trayvon Martin Documentary Are Afraid of Being Targeted by George Zimmerman — Report

A private investigator says they don’t want him to know what they said about him.

Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” has caught the attention of George Zimmerman, who fatally shot the unarmed black teen in in 2012. Jay-Z produced the documentary, whose interview subjects now fear retribution from Zimmerman, according to The Blast. Private Investigator Dennis Warren has accused Zimmerman of stalking him and, according to court documents, claims that interviewees in the film “do not want him to know what they said about him or have any contact with him.”

Warren also believes that revealing the identities of those who participated in the documentary, including law-enforcement officers, “could put them at serious risk.” Zimmerman was charged with misdemeanor stalking after allegedly sending Warren 67 text messages and 27 emails over the course of nine days; he’s also said to have called 55 times and left 36 voicemails.

Here’s the synopsis for “Rest in Power,” which will air on the Paramount Network: “Martin was an unarmed 17-year old high school student shot and killed by a neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman, in the Florida community where they both lived. Zimmerman was acquitted on a second-degree murder charge after claiming he shot Martin in self-defense, sparking protests and outrage worldwide. The series delves deep into the heart of the story which is more than a tragic narrative about a young man’s life cut short – it’s a story about race, politics, power, money, and the criminal justice system.”

‘Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story’: Paramount Network Docuseries Gets Premiere Date & Trailer

Paramount Network has slotted July 30 at 10 PM for the premiere of Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story. The network also unveiled the full trailer for the six-part original docuseries, which recounts the life and legacy of Trayvon Martin, whose 201…

Paramount Network has slotted July 30 at 10 PM for the premiere of Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story. The network also unveiled the full trailer for the six-part original docuseries, which recounts the life and legacy of Trayvon Martin, whose 2012 shooting death polarized the nation and gave rise to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Trayvon Martin was an unarmed 17-year-old African American high school student shot and killed by a neighborhood watch member in the…

Tracey Martin & Sybrina Fulton, Parents Of Trayvon Martin, Hope To Effect Change With ‘Rest In Power’ — Tribeca Studio

Seeing their teenage son Trayvon Martin gunned down in 2012 by George Zimmerman, a Florida neighborhood watch volunteer—who claimed “self defense,” and was ultimately acquitted of all charges related to Martin’s murder—Tra…

Seeing their teenage son Trayvon Martin gunned down in 2012 by George Zimmerman, a Florida neighborhood watch volunteer—who claimed “self defense,” and was ultimately acquitted of all charges related to Martin’s murder—Tracey Martin and Sybrina Fulton did what anyone in such a tragic situation might do. They grieved, and they sought to process their experience. Writing their own book, Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, the pair were able to retain a sense…

‘Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story’: Paramount Network & Shawn Carter Set Docuseries For Summer

Paramount Network and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter are teaming to produce Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, an unscripted documentary series set to air in July. Watch a promo above.
Based on the book Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the six-part docuseries focuses on the killing of the Florida teenager that became a huge American talking point and helped spur the “Black Lives Matter” movement. The announcement comes on…

Paramount Network and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter are teaming to produce Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, an unscripted documentary series set to air in July. Watch a promo above. Based on the book Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the six-part docuseries focuses on the killing of the Florida teenager that became a huge American talking point and helped spur the “Black Lives Matter” movement. The announcement comes on…

Jay-Z’s Trayvon Martin Docuseries Sparks Feud Between Snoop Dogg And George Zimmerman

Jay-Z’s forthcoming docuseries, Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, which follows the life and legacy of the titular Martin. The timely project, like many documentaries including Whose Streets? has drawn much-needed attention to social injustice, but also a peripheral feud between Snoop Dogg and George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman, who was acquitted of the fatal shooting of Martin, threw in his two cents about the docuseries in a recent interview with The Blast saying that…

Jay-Z’s forthcoming docuseries, Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, which follows the life and legacy of the titular Martin. The timely project, like many documentaries including Whose Streets? has drawn much-needed attention to social injustice, but also a peripheral feud between Snoop Dogg and George Zimmerman. Zimmerman, who was acquitted of the fatal shooting of Martin, threw in his two cents about the docuseries in a recent interview with The Blast saying that…

Harvey Weinstein Lawyer Lisa Bloom Has Deal in Development With Weinstein Company

Attorney Lisa Bloom, who has been criticized for advising Harvey Weinstein in the sexual misconduct allegations against him, has a deal in development with the Weinstein Company.

In April, Weinstein optioned her book “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It” as part of its plan for a six-part Trayvon Martin docuseries. It’ll be co-executive produced with Jay-Z.

“Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” is set to debut in 2018 on the Paramount Network, which is the new rebrand for Spike TV. It’ll tell the story of a Florida teen who shot and killed by a neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman.

The series will be based on the books by Bloom and “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin” by Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin.

Also Read: Harvey Weinstein Bombshell Report Says He Reached Sexual Misconduct Settlements With at Least Eight Women

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: My book SUSPICION NATION is being made into a miniseries, produced by Harvey Weinstein and Jay Z! https://t.co/Z4pu7y0TfX

— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) April 7, 2017

It’s also worth noting that Weinstein quoted Jay-Z in his statement (although reportedly incorrectly).

“Jay Z wrote in 4:44 I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.’ The same is true for me. I want a second chance in the community but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it,” he said.

Bloom referenced the project in her statement as well, but with the added caveat that her interactions with Weinstein have always been “respectful.”

Also Read: Read Harvey Weinstein’s Statement About Sexual Misconduct Claims

“And as we work together on a project bringing my book to the screen, he has always been respectful toward me,” she said.

In a 2001 New York Magazine profile, David Carr wrote that Weinstein has a history of keeping potential opponents under his control by helping them with their careers. Carr wrote:

As the keeper of star-making machinery, Weinstein has re-engineered the media process so that he lives beyond its downsides. His other assets–a book-publishing company and a working knowledge of the frailties of most reporters–mean that when Weinstein acts like a numbskull at Cannes, he gets a pass.

A. J. Benza, who held Weinstein harmless when he was a gossip at the Daily News, has a book on Talk-Miramax that will become a movie. Liz Smith calls him the Irving Thalberg of our age, and Weinstein reciprocates by giving her a steady taste of star quotage. Rush and Molloy can’t blurb one of his actors without mentioning how “critically acclaimed” his last project was.

People on Twitter are noticing this connection and are criticizing Bloom for her decision to represent Weinstein, calling her a “sell out.”

because Harvey is turning her book into a tv series with Jayz producing, thats why. sell out @LisaBloom

— (((Rachelskid))) (@rachelskid) October 5, 2017

And Lisa Bloom is gross here. She’s defending Harvey because she has a miniseries optioned by Weinstein based on her book. All about the $$$

— Nadia (@EgoIsNotUrAmigo) October 5, 2017

Hmm, Lisa Bloom declared victory when Bill O’Reilly was fired but is advising Harvey Weinstein. If only O’Reilly had optioned her book!

— Ima S. Trawman (@ImaSTrawman) October 5, 2017

Jay-Z and his production company Roc Nation, along with the Weinstein Company, have not responded to requests for comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

The Scene With Cynthia Nixon, Lisa Bloom at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast NYC 2017 (Photos)

Lawyer Lisa Bloom on Bringing Down Fox News Host Bill O’Reilly: ‘It’s Way Overdue’ (Video)

Victim Advocate Lisa Bloom Defends Work for Harvey Weinstein: ‘He Is Reading Books, Going to Therapy’

Gawker-Killer Lawyer: I’ll Sue NY Times Over Harvey Weinstein Report

Attorney Lisa Bloom, who has been criticized for advising Harvey Weinstein in the sexual misconduct allegations against him, has a deal in development with the Weinstein Company.

In April, Weinstein optioned her book “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It” as part of its plan for a six-part Trayvon Martin docuseries. It’ll be co-executive produced with Jay-Z.

“Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” is set to debut in 2018 on the Paramount Network, which is the new rebrand for Spike TV. It’ll tell the story of a Florida teen who shot and killed by a neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman.

The series will be based on the books by Bloom and “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin” by Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin.

It’s also worth noting that Weinstein quoted Jay-Z in his statement (although reportedly incorrectly).

“Jay Z wrote in 4:44 I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.’ The same is true for me. I want a second chance in the community but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it,” he said.

Bloom referenced the project in her statement as well, but with the added caveat that her interactions with Weinstein have always been “respectful.”

“And as we work together on a project bringing my book to the screen, he has always been respectful toward me,” she said.

In a 2001 New York Magazine profile, David Carr wrote that Weinstein has a history of keeping potential opponents under his control by helping them with their careers. Carr wrote:

As the keeper of star-making machinery, Weinstein has re-engineered the media process so that he lives beyond its downsides. His other assets–a book-publishing company and a working knowledge of the frailties of most reporters–mean that when Weinstein acts like a numbskull at Cannes, he gets a pass.

A. J. Benza, who held Weinstein harmless when he was a gossip at the Daily News, has a book on Talk-Miramax that will become a movie. Liz Smith calls him the Irving Thalberg of our age, and Weinstein reciprocates by giving her a steady taste of star quotage. Rush and Molloy can’t blurb one of his actors without mentioning how “critically acclaimed” his last project was.

People on Twitter are noticing this connection and are criticizing Bloom for her decision to represent Weinstein, calling her a “sell out.”

Jay-Z and his production company Roc Nation, along with the Weinstein Company, have not responded to requests for comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

The Scene With Cynthia Nixon, Lisa Bloom at TheWrap's Power Women Breakfast NYC 2017 (Photos)

Lawyer Lisa Bloom on Bringing Down Fox News Host Bill O'Reilly: 'It's Way Overdue' (Video)

Victim Advocate Lisa Bloom Defends Work for Harvey Weinstein: 'He Is Reading Books, Going to Therapy'

Gawker-Killer Lawyer: I'll Sue NY Times Over Harvey Weinstein Report

Jay Z & Weinstein Co.’s Trayvon Martin Docu Series Lands At Paramount Network

In the first major new series order since Viacom announced the 2018 relaunch of Spike as the Paramount Network, the net has picked up Jay Z and The Weinstein Company ‘s Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, based on the life and legacy of Trayvon Martin. The six-part event documentary series is one of two Trayvon Martin projects Jay Z (full name Shawn Carter) and the Weinstein Co. are working on, along with a feature film.
Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story is a…

In the first major new series order since Viacom announced the 2018 relaunch of Spike as the Paramount Network, the net has picked up Jay Z and The Weinstein Company ‘s Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, based on the life and legacy of Trayvon Martin. The six-part event documentary series is one of two Trayvon Martin projects Jay Z (full name Shawn Carter) and the Weinstein Co. are working on, along with a feature film. Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story is a…