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Film / O.J.: Made in America

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"We talk about O.J. as if the story were O.J. … the story is O.J. and us."

O.J.: Made in America is a 2016 documentary miniseries produced by ESPN.

The five-part miniseries is a documentary of the life of O. J. Simpson, former Heisman Trophy winner, NFL star, commercial pitchman, and character actor (Roots, The Naked Gun), now infamous for allegedly murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and waiter Ron Goldman in 1994. The double murder triggered the "Trial of the Century" in which Simpson was ultimately acquitted, although he was later found civilly liable for wrongful death. The series, while examining the life of O.J. and the murders in particular, also examines the history of race relations in the city of Los Angeles and the tensions between the black community in Los Angeles and the LAPD, factors which contributed to Simpson's acquittal.

The series was directed by Ezra Edelman. Before airing on ESPN, as part of that network's 30 for 30 documentary series, it ran for a week in two theaters (in a three-part format), one in Santa Monica and the other in New York City. This made it eligible for the Oscars and it won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. It set a record for longest "film" to win an Oscar (467 minutes), beating the mark previously set by the 1968 Russian adaptation of War and Peace.note 


  • Abstract Apotheosis: A focal point of the documentary is showing the seeds and roots of the distrust of the LAPD by black people in LA. O.J.'s trial is thus treated as all of the race relations coming to a head.
  • Affably Evil: At least one interviewee describes Simpson as compulsively likable, citing this as a major reason why so many people refused to believe that he was guilty. Lampshaded by one author who wrote a profile of him; although she believes that he probably is a murderer, she notes that she compulsively wants to see the best in him while in his presence, describing it as "the O.J. Effect".
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: While living in Miami, Gilbert said that O.J. felt he had more women throwing themselves at him than before he was accused of murder.
  • Anachronic Order: Part I jumps back and forth in time quite a bit. For example, the series starts off with a How We Got Here clip from 2013, then tells the story of O.J. Simpson's USC football career and his emergence as a star, then deals with the growth of the black population in Los Angeles after World War II, then catches up to the time of Simpson's football career as framed against the civil rights movement and the unrest of the late 1960s, then jumps back to Simpson's childhood in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco.
  • Answer Cut:
    • An unrepentant LAPD cop (Det. Tom Lange, who along with his late partner Phil Vannatter, was the lead detective in the investigation) says of the Rodney King cops, "How do you know they were racist? They were not racist." The film then cuts to a stock footage news report in which two of the Rodney King cops were caught on audio describing a prior call as "something out of Gorillas in the Mist."
    • Tom Riccio, who was involved in the robbery that got Simpson sent to jail, says "I didn't rat on anybody!" Cue stock footage of Riccio spilling the details of Simpson's involvement in the robbery. Cue Riccio saying "OK, maybe I did rat on somebody."
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • Defense attorney Barry Scheck led the charge against the DNA blood evidence and said in court that the blood was planted. When asked if he actually believes the LAPD planted that blood Scheck gets visibly flustered, hesitating and stammering before saying it's not his job as an attorney to believe and saying he presented sound evidence in court that the crime scene evidence could have been tainted.
    • Simpson friend Peter Hyams (who had directed him in Capricorn One) was a firm believer in his innocence. That is, until another friend asked Hyams what Mark Fuhrman would have had to know to plant the glove—Fuhrman would have had to know that Simpson had no alibi, that Simpson could not prove himself to be at a party or in bed with a woman or on a plane to Chicago at the time of the murders. But neither Fuhrman nor anyone else in the LAPD knew where Simpson was at the time they entered his house. Hyams instantly realized that O.J. was guilty.
  • Bad Liar: After Nicole and Ron are murdered, Ron Shipp asks O.J. how he cut his finger. He tells Shipp he cut it on a glass in Chicago. Later on, Shipp is in earshot when O.J. gives two different explanations ("chipping golf balls" and "cut it getting the cellphone out of the car") to other people. This is a huge factor in Shipp abandoning and later testifying against O.J.
  • *Bleep*-dammit!: Words like "fuck" and "shit" are bleeped in some cases, but only when using stock footage where they were bleeped originally. In the actual interviews, there's no filter. "Nigger" isn't bleeped, since it's relevant to the subject material.
  • Bookends: Begins at the Nevada prison, ends at the Nevada prison.
  • Broken Pedestal: In-universe, O.J. is this to many, but especially Ron Shipp. Shipp clearly idolized O.J. for a long time, even helping him out of a few jams when he became a cop. He becomes friends with O.J. and Nicole. Shortly after the murders happen, Shipp asks O.J. what happened to his finger (which was bandaged). O.J. says he cut it on a glass in Chicago. Then, O.J.'s story about what happened to his finger changed several times between what he tells Shipp alone and what he tells others with Shipp (perhaps unknowingly) in earshot. From that point on, Shipp distanced himself from O.J., culminating in him testifying against O.J. on the stand and getting torn to shreds by Carl Douglas. This was, of course, the end of their friendship.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: A camera shot shows F. Lee Bailey unable to restrain himself from laughing after Christopher Darden's epic blunder in asking Simpson to try on the glove.
  • The Chessmaster: Johnnie Cochran. Darden doesn't want the N-word to be uttered during the trial, as he knew Fuhrman had allegedly said it in the past. He says that it will taint the jury away from rational thought and make the trial about race and a potential frame-up conspiracy. He is shamed by Cochran for alleging blacks can't hear the word and be rational. However, later on, Fuhrman perjures himself about having used the word in the past. When that lie is revealed, he goes on the stand again and takes the 5th on every question asked. This spreads a lot of doubt to the jurors about O.J.'s guilt, and makes the trial about race. Darden's fears come true, but it was more because of Fuhrman lying than the N-word itself.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Marcia Clark goes into a long series of them directed at a reporter, when he ambushes her outside her home as she's leaving to hear the verdict. A 20-years-later Clark admits that she knew what the verdict was going to be.
  • Defector from Decadence: Ron Shipp in Part 3, after hearing Simpson give three successive and contradictory explanations for his cut finger, and realizing that Simpson was guilty.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Some of O.J.'s acquaintances, such as Micahel McClinto, Joe Bell and Carl Douglas, believe the 33-year sentence for the Vegas robbery was unjust. Douglas, who was one of O.J.'s lawyers during the 1994-95 trial, claims that O.J. should have served at most two years for the crime and that the verdict was more about punishing O.J. for beating the 1994 murder trial.
  • Double Standard: African-American Time reporter Sylvester Monroe mentions describing the case as "the Trial of the Century" to his mother. She replied "If OJ had killed Marguerite*, this wouldn't have been the 'Trial of the Century' and OJ's black ass would be in jail."
  • Domestic Abuse: The beatings Simpson delivered to his wife Nicole, publicized before and during the murder trial, are discussed for the first time in Part 2.
  • Don't Shoot the Message: Invoked by Christopher Darden when, in a hearing without the jury present, tries to make the plea to never have the N-word be uttered during the trial. The reason for this is simple: he knows the defense for O.J. will try to present the theory that Mark Fuhrman (a white cop who faced allegations of racism) planted the glove. If it could be proven during the trial that Fuhrman said the word, that could lend credence to that theory. However, Chris makes a huge misstep in saying that hearing the word "will blind people" to the point they can't be rational, and will force the jury to have to pick sides: "the man" vs "the brothas" (almost exact words here). Cochran, in a famous moment, tore into Chris for saying black people can't hear the N-word without losing their minds. Chris was basically insulting all blacks. If he was able to somehow get his point across without doing that, things could have turned out different.
  • Easily Forgiven: Peter Hymans mentions that he would have forgiven OJ if he admitted to the murders. Because OJ lied to him, he ended the friendship.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: A portrait of Simpson with the left side of his face hidden in shadow is shown for dramatic effect when Part 2 of the series starts to go into how Simpson beat his wife.
  • Feet-First Introduction: In fact that is all we see of Coach McBryant, in a recreation of a story recounted by Simpson's childhood friend Joe Bell of how the coach caught them shooting dice in a restroom.
  • Female Misogynist: Quite a few of the female jurors remain devoted to OJ, even after learning of his history of domestic abuse, and have a negative view of Nicole, seeing her as either a gold digger or not wanting to see a black man go to prison for murdering a white woman. One even notoriously stated she had no sympathy for Nicole due to her own experience with spousal abuse, claiming she "couldn't respect a woman who couldn't take a punch".
  • Fish out of Water: According to the docu, O.J. was very unhappy to be signed by the Buffalo Bills, a mid-sized working class town on the other side of the country from L.A. and never feels comfortable there. It's part of the reason he holds out for an exorbitant contract when he's drafted into the NFL.
  • Frame-Up: The crux of O.J.'s defense, as the DNA evidence against him is mountain-high. The sloppy handling of the evidence by the forensic team and Mark Fuhrman's perjury on the stand help a lot.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Both an investigator for The Dream Team (through the doc) and O.J. Simpson (through old tape) say this is what Mark Fuhrman thought he was doing. Fuhrman allegedly had it in his head that O.J. was the murderer and wanted to make sure the charges stick. The investigator even says "they call that framing a guilty man".
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Not a real "bonus" by ANY means, but while Ron Shipp is talking about how seeing the dead pictures of Nicole swayed him toward testifying, you see VERY quick flashes of the photo of Nicole with her throat cut open.
  • Godwin's Law: Did Johnnie Cochran compare the LAPD to Adolf Hitler? Yes, yes he did. An enraged Fred Goldman is shown in stock footage calling this out immediately afterwards.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Thoroughly averted with the crime scene photos, showing the horrifying scene where Brown and Goldman were found outside her front door. note 
  • Harmful to Minors: Mike Gilbert points out that O.J. and Nicole's children could have woken up to find her and Ron's bodies.
  • The Hedonist: O.J. lived a very luxurious lifestyle before the trial, partly to make up for not having much while growing up. Part 5 discuses how O.J. became more and more decadent after moving to Miami.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: The documentary essentially portrays Marcia Clark as this (contrasting her with the teflon-coated O.J. Simpson). She's a generally honest prosecutor who just wants to see justice done, and relies entirely on evidence to make her arguments, but she's widely viewed as uncharismatic, and struggles to gain the public's trust and approval—partly due to being a civil servant who isn't used to dealing with the media. One of the former jurors openly admits to disliking her.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: The final episode focuses on O.J.'s downfall after the trial (which ruined his career and public image, despite him being found innocent). After decades as a wealthy and beloved celebrity, most of his belongings are repossessed, his mansion is demolished, many of his friends abandon him and he's reduced to appearing in trashy reality shows and selling videos of himself to the paparazzi to make money. This all culminates in his arrest in Las Vegas after he goes to desperate lengths to reclaim some of his memorabilia from his glory days.
  • How We Got Here: Opens with a brief clip of a 2013 examination of O.J. by Nevada prison officials.
  • Humiliation Conga: O.J. beat his murder case, but loses a civil suit for wrongful death where the Goldmans are awarded $33 million, which O.J. cannot afford to pay, resulting in him having to eventually declare personal bankruptcy. His financial situation over the years gets so bad he makes a book called If I Did It to try and get some money but the book deal ultimately falls through. On top of this, the Goldmans, to whom he is still in debt, seize the publishing rights and change the title to If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer. He spends most of the 2000s as a punchline and stars in an awkward, painfully bad, straight-to-DVD Punk'd ripoff called Juiced which bombs and only drives home how far he's fallen. He tops it off with an armed robbery in Vegas in 2007 which lands him in prison with a 33-year sentence. (Simpson was granted parole in 2017 after serving nine years.)
  • If I Can't Have You…: In Part 2.
    O.J. Simpson: If you ever see Marcus [Allen] again, I will kill you.
  • It Will Never Catch On: According to Tom Riccio, O.J. said that Keeping Up with the Kardashians "wouldn't last two weeks".
  • It's Personal: Ron Shipp, though he felt O.J. was guilty, wasn't going to testify until he saw actual crime scene photos of Nicole (who was also a friend of his). They are so gruesome they bring back memories of the first homicide he saw, where a 19-year-old girl was left naked and beaten to the extent her face was unrecognizable. The hatred he felt for the man who later turned himself in for the crime is the same hate he felt for O.J. for killing Nicole and Ron.
  • Justice by Other Legal Means: Years after getting off for a double murder, O.J. is sent to prison for trying to take back memorabilia that was stolen from him from dealers that were now selling it. Since he brought some guys with him (one who had a gun and was pointing) to make sure the dealers stayed, he had kidnapping charges on top of armed robbery. The judge did the sentencing on the 13th anniversary of the original O.J. verdict, and sentenced O.J. to 33 years (to match the 33 million awarded in the civil suit). Carl Douglas says "that was a 2-year crime dripping wet." Marcia Clark for her part can barely contain her glee, calling lowlife Tom Riccio "one of my favorite people!"
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Joe Bell says that he once told O.J., "One day everybody's gonna know what you've done, man". Bell said this in the context of O.J.'s various affairs while he was married to Nicole but it very much applies to every other horrible thing O.J. did.
  • The Ken Burns Effect: Used sparingly, like with photos in Part 1 that illustrate the post-World War II black migration to Los Angeles. In Part 2 the camera zooms out from a photo of Simpson to reveal Marcus Allen, as the documentary discusses Simpson and Allen's relationship and how Nicole Brown was apparently dating Allen.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: According to the findings by jury consultant Donald Vinson, most black female jurors were unsympathetic to Nicole for being a white woman who had married a successful black man and as a result were more likely to vote "not guilty" for OJ because they didn't want to see him go down for the murder of a white woman, even if he might have been guilty. Marcia Clark, who had won a number of cases with black female jurors, was surprised by how much loyalty black women showed to OJ. Especially since OJ had dated Nicole while he was still married to his first wife who was black.
  • The Millstone:
    • How Christopher Darden is portrayed in the documentary. From the moment he first appears in the courtroom, everything he does backfires on the prosecution.
    • And, of course, Mark Fuhrman, whom even the prosecution throws under the bus by the end of the trial.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Hertz CEO Frank Olson seems to have that tone throughout all his interviews as he discusses how he chose OJ to be his corporate spokesman and made him richer and more respected. He obviously feels guilty, especially when he reveals Nicole called him to downplay the abuse allegations.
  • The Narcissist:
    • An aspect of O.J. which is revealed throughout the documentary in a lot of instances. Many interviewees essentially describe Simpson as one, stopping just short of actually calling him a sociopath. Many of his former friends note that he regularly lied to people without remorse, he didn't seem to feel any genuine concern or affection for anyone but himself, he devoted his entire life to increasing his own wealth and fame, and he saw himself as effectively flawless. It's up to the audience to decide how accurate this characterization really is. The SWAT guy who was at the house to arrest O.J. on the night of the Bronco chase noted that there were no pictures of any other family or anyone else on the walls of the Simpson mansion—all the photos were of O.J. Simpson's agent Mike Gilbert claims to have said "It's all about you" while upbraiding Simpson for living the life of "a 25-year-old punkass" in Florida, without regard for his children.
    • O.J. says on some private interview tapes that Nicole is being "painted divinely" by the prosecution, and if she was accused of killing him, she wouldn't spend a day in jail.
  • Notably Quick Deliberation: Despite the case taking up their lives for the better part of an entire year, the jury manages to reach its verdict in just four hours. This leads to statements of "You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!" from both the prosecution and the defense.
  • N-Word Privileges: Zig-zagged:
    • Played straight when it comes to the case. Mark Fuhrman lied on the stand about never having used the N-word. When the lie is revealed, there is a huge public outcry and the case becomes more about race.
    • Subverted with the documentary itself. Plenty of non-blacks say the N-word (and not just "N-word") within the doc while either quoting people or talking about its usage within the trial. Famously, F. Lee Bailey used the word when initially grilling Mark Fuhrman on whether he ever said it.
  • Out of Focus: Judge Lance Ito is barely even mentioned, despite presiding over the trial and allowing it to become the media circus it did.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • The prosecution putting Mark Fuhrman on the stand. It was unavoidable, but still qualifies.
    • Mark Fuhrman invoking the 5th Amendment on EVERY question asked of him the second time he's called to the stand, including "did you plant or manufacture any evidence in this case?"
    • The police handling the forensic evidence at the scene poorly, which is lambasted in court.
    • Christopher Darden asking O.J. to try on the gloves recovered from the murder scene. They don't fit. A juror being interviewed for the documentary even says she would have assumed the gloves fit if O.J. didn't try them on.
      Marcia Clark: Chris says "I want to do it", and I told him in no uncertain terms why we should not be doing this, and he said, "If we don't do this, they will", then I said, "Let them. And we can show why it was a bullshit experiment why it was never going to work between the shrinkage and the latex, it's never going to fit in the same way, don't do this." It was the biggest fight Chris and I ever had.
      Yolanda Crawford (one of the jurors): [after O.J. has tried on the bloody glove] I looked at Darden like, "I can't believe you did it. You let him play you. You are the weaker one, and you didn't have to be."
  • Post-Game Retaliation: Carl Douglas compares the Las Vegas case sentencing to the 5th Quarter, a term for football or basketball team members and fans fighting each other after the game has already been won. In Douglas's eyes, the 33-year sentencing for armed robbery, assault and kidnapping was the system getting back at O.J. for beating the murder rap in 1995.
  • Precision F-Strike: "What the fuck, dude?" Said by Marcia Clark about Fuhrman's inflammatory tapes. While multiple characters in the doc, including Marcia, don't hesitate to swear, it's the only time she used the F-bomb up to that point, and it's used with much more vigor.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: O.J. beat the murder case that could have had him in prison for life, but was still a pariah in the court of public opinion. Afterwards, the Goldman family and Nicole's father filed a wrongful death suit against him in civil court, which he ended up losing requiring him to pay $33.5 million to the Goldmans in compensatory and punitive damages, as well as $12.6 million to his and Nicole's two children. Though O.J. was still relatively wealthy at the time, the loss of his public profile and the financial drain the murder trial had put on his fortune ultimately meant that he did not have the means to pay the full amount and he was soon left bankrupt.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Celia Farber says that from a distance, O.J.'s new girlfriend, Chris Prody, looked disturbingly similar to Nicole. Archive footage has O.J. complaining about how the press claims every white woman he dates looks like Nicole.
  • Revenge Before Reason: The not guilty verdict is viewed as "payback for Rodney King" by many. Danny Bakewell states that it was pretty much payback for everything black people in America had been through over the last 400 years.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: The defense made a point of emphasizing the history of racial violence from the LAPD as a way to prove that OJ's arrest was nothing more than a case of a white establishment wanting to tear down a powerful and influential black man, putting particular emphasis on the racist history of Detective Mark Fuhrman. The prosecution attempts to work around this by admitting that such claims are true but they do not change the overwhelming evidence that OJ was a violent abuser and murderer but to not avail.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Carl Douglas did not believe it was a coincidence that the judge in the Las Vegas robbery trial held the jury out till 11 o'clock on a Friday night, 13 years to the day of the not guilty verdict in Simpson's original murder. Nor did he think it was a coincidence that Simpson was sentenced to 33 years as $33 million was the amount O.J. was to pay in the Goldmans' civil case . In Douglas's mind, this was the legal system getting back at O.J. for beating the murder rap in 1995.
  • The Scapegoat: Yolanda Crawford, one of the jurors of the Simpson murder trial, believes the jury was unfairly blamed for Simpson getting acquitted and that the prosecution made several mistakes (namely, putting Fuhrman on the stand and making O.J. try on the gloves) that convinced the jury to vote not guilty.
  • Schmuck Bait: The young and brash Christopher Darden's ploy to get O.J. to try on the glove, despite his own team's insistence not to do so; even a juror who felt that O.J. was guilty knew that it was an awful gamble, knowing she and the others couldn't vote "guilty" if the glove didn't fit. Sure enough, the glove did not, thanks to O.J.'s team advising him to not take his arthritis meds so his hands would swell, and the prosecution's case was torpedoed.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!:
    • It's mentioned throughout the documentary (up until the trial and after) that O.J. got special treatment because he was rich and famous. For instance, the helicopter reporter who caught the Bronco chase notes that she had seen these kind of chases before and they normally ended very differently than someone basically getting a motorcade to his house.
      Zoey Tur: I've covered so many of these things. This was not usual police behavior. If O.J. Simpson were black, that shit wouldn't have happened. He'd be on the ground getting clubbed. But because he transcended race and color to this exalted state of celebrity, he got a motorcade.
    • Shipp, when he made the decision to testify against O.J., was given a list of other people who'd be testifying. After Carl Douglas tears him apart on the stand, however, everybody "got amnesia".
  • Slashed Throat: An image of Nicole with her nightmarish throat wound is without a doubt the most grisly image from the crime scene photos with the cuts so deep her head was only barely still attached. It's so disturbing that some networks showing the documentary have a black bar over it.
  • Slave to PR:
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: There was music playing at Nicole Brown's house when the cops arrived, which is why a jazzy upbeat pop song is playing as the ghastly crime-scene photos flash by.
  • Split Screen: Seen in Part 3 as various heavyweights—Alan Dershowitz, F. Lee Bailey, and an investigator—come onto Simpson's defense team.
  • Staggered Zoom: The last live shot of the movie is a staggered zoom away from the Lovelock prison at sunset.
  • Stock Footage: A tried-and-true documentary trope. Also the only way O.J. Simpson appears, since he did not answer interview requests.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: O.J. tries to publish a book entitled If I Did It. The interviewer for the book left more convinced than ever he was a murderer.
  • Talking Heads: Features many interviews with many principals in the drama, including lead prosecutor Marcia Clark, three of Simpson's surviving defense attorneys (Johnnie Cochran and Robert Kardashian being deceased), and others, but not Simpson himself, and not prosecutor Christopher Darden or Simpson's first wife Marguerite, who declined to be interviewed.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: Anticipating the prosecution would ask O.J. to try on the bloody glove recovered from the scene, the defense instructed Simpson not to take his arthritis medicine, as his hands would swell up as a result.
  • Token Minority: Chris Darden is alleged to be one for the defense by Carl Douglas. Juror Yolanda Crawford seems offended by the presence of a Token Minority on the prosecution team (particularly one she saw as "weak") and says, "He shouldn't have been there."
  • Tranquil Fury: Barry Scheck states that Cochran rarely got angry but when he did, he managed to remain restrained and articulate. This was the case when Cochran offered his counterargument to Chris Darden's claim that black jurors could not hear the n word and remain objective in their judgment.
  • Trophy Wife:
    Ron Shipp: Nicole was like a trophy to him, something that he possessed.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: As far as the civil rights movement was concerned. Robert Lipsyte calls Simpson "the counter-revolutionary athlete" who offered white America a non-threatening face at a time when black athletes like Muhammad Ali were fighting for civil rights.
  • Unconventional Courtroom Tactics:
    • Both in and outside of the courtroom. When Johnnie Cochran derails the point of the trial by making it about race and comparing the LAPD to Adolf Hitler, Ron Goldman's father Fred is outraged and publicly calls out Cochran for his manipulations. Reporters asking Cochran if he will apologize to Goldman get this response:
      Johnnie Cochran: He [Goldman] should be apologizing to me!
    • Mike Gilbert expresses disapproval of how the officers enforcing the civil judgment against Simpson took his personal stuff. He specifically says "how do you take his Heisman?" Not even 30 seconds later, we see old footage of Gilbert, who claims he was unpaid for services rendered to O.J., admitting to taking some of his personal stuff, including his Heisman Trophy.
    • Robert Shapiro was the person who first brought race into the trial, suggesting at the very beginning that the LAPD framed Simpson because he was black. This, despite saying that race shouldn't be a part of the trial. After the ordeal is over, he expresses "disgust" that he and the dream team not only played the race card, but dealt it from the bottom of the deck. Carl Douglas calls him out by saying it was the card he stacked the deck with from the very beginning.
    • Johnnie Cochran gets pissed when Darden tries to argue that the "N-word" is so racially charged that black people will automatically assume Fuhrman planted the evidence.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Al "A.C." Cowlings is described as having such for OJ for years. Joe Bell recounts a story from their youth in which he and a friend called Ray pulled a starter pistol on O.J. as a prank and A.C., not knowing it wasn't a real gun with bullets, stood in between them and told Ray that if he wanted to shoot O.J., he'd have to shoot AC as well. Unfortunately, this undying love for O.J. is what led to AC aiding his attempted escape.
    • Averted with Mike Gilbert who believed O.J. was guilty of murder and still stuck by him until his behavior in Florida exasperated Gilbert.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Even before the murders, O.J. beat Nicole Brown and had multiple affairs. He still retained his popularity despite his transgressions against his wife. During the trial, the majority of African Americans believed he was innocent and continued to believe so until his subsequent self-destructive behavior.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • Plenty of O.J.'s friends turned their backs on him over the years, most notably Ron Shipp and Mike Gilbert. Both knew he was guilty of the crime, but the latter eventually left after his self-centered behavior led to disruption and embarrassment in his children's lives.
    • One of the jurors mentioned that her neighbors and friends that she had known for years had done the same after the acquittal.
    • Zigzagged with O.J.'s "Dream Team". While Carl Douglas could be considered a friend or at least an admirer of Johnnie Cochran and Robert Kardashian was a good friend of O.J. himself, a friendship that affectively ended right after the trial due to Robert believing that he was guilty, the men were primarily colleagues/acquaintances with one another. Most noticeably, as the other attorneys went to celebrate with O.J. at his home after the not guilty verdict, Robert Shapiro appeared on television saying how he would never work with or even speak to Johnnie or F. Lee Bailey again.
  • White Like Me: Simpson wears whiteface, getting heavily made up to look like an old Jewish man, for his awful prank show Juiced with O.J. Simpson.
  • The Whitest Black Guy: After he got famous. O.J. stopped seeing himself as black.
    Robert Lipsyte: He was telling me a story about being at a teammate's wedding with his wife, sitting at a table with mostly, as he said, "Negroes". And he overheard a white woman at the next table saying, "Look, there's O.J. sitting with all those niggers." And I remember, in my naïveté, saying to O.J., "Gee, wow, that must be terrible for you." He said, "No, it was great. Don't you understand? She knew that I wasn't black. She saw me as O.J." And really, at that moment, I thought he was fucked.
  • Young Future Famous People: A young Maxine Waters pops up in historical archive footage from 1979, where she's shown issuing a public statement on the death of Eula May Love. She was just a member of the California State Assembly at the time, but would later achieve nationwide fame as a member of the US House of Representatives.
  • You Are Fat: O.J. also made unkind remarks about Nicole's weight during and after her pregnancies.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!:
    • People on both sides involved with the murder case had this reaction when the jury came to a verdict in just 4 hours.
    • Marcia Clark says this almost word-for-word when she finds out O.J. Simpson, after beating the murder case, has been arrested for trying to steal memorabilia.
  • Zany Scheme: With some added effect of Soundtrack Dissonance, O.J.'s heist for his memorabilia is described as such from many of the interviewed participants as such. One interviewee outright calls it stupid.