Like clockwork, we all tuned into The People v O.J. Simpson last night for an explosive new episode.
This week, the FX series focused on the Mark Fuhrman tapes. In case you aren’t familiar with the case, Mark Fuhrman was one of the officers at the Nicole Simpson-Ron Goldman murder scene and was later accused of being a racist who possibly planted evidence to frame O.J. Simpson for their deaths. While under oath, Fuhrman denied his prejudice against Black people, but later, tapes of his relentless usage of the n-word (and more) were uncovered.
It was a suspenseful episode, to the say the least, and as usual, we’ll compare the American Crime Story mini-series to the actual trial, courtesy of E!.
“This series is not a documentary,” The Run of His Life author Jeffrey Toobin, who’s a consultant on the series, told E! Online. “It is not a word-for-word recreation. But in terms of the essential truths of the events, in terms of the insights into the characters, it is brilliant and everyone will learn a lot and be entertained a lot.”
As for the latest episode, the site helps us fact check:
Hard to Believe: All of it. “Manna from heaven” for the defense is right.
Fact or Fiction: But the tapes, on which Fuhrman used the N-word more than 40 times, were far too real. The veteran LAPD detective resigned while the trial was still going on, in August 1995. When asked, many of his fellow officers described a man who was unrecognizable from the sort of person who would say such things as heard on the tapes, and Fuhrman later said his words were taken out of context. “I was forced to take the 5th because prosecutors wouldn’t assure me they would ask questions that I could answer in a narrative fashion,” the cop turned news pundit and author told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1997.
Hard to Believe: Clark apologizes to Darden for not heeding his warnings about Fuhrman, admitting she was too stubborn. He, in turn, says, “If we’re apologizing, then I’m sorry as s–t about those gloves.”
Fact or Fiction: FICTION. Clark told Dateline recently that Darden did at some point apologize for the glove debacle, which she called entirely “his call,” but there’s no indication she ever felt the need to apologize for Fuhrman. She told Vulture that all of the back and forth on the show between her and Darden about putting Fuhrman on the stand (i.e. all of Chris’ unheeded warnings) was “just absurd.” She blamed the purportedly factual source material. “Toobin’s idea was, why did we even have to call Fuhrman?” Clark said. “And that comes from somebody who really doesn’t know a thing about trial work. We cannot get away with not calling Mark Fuhrman. That’s a silly, ridiculous thing to say. So the question never was: Should we put Fuhrman on the stand? The question became, who is gonna put him on the stand?” Toobin didn’t really harp on that notion in the book, but he did note Darden’s initial distrust of Fuhrman.
While watching the show, an interesting tidbit was quickly brought to the world’s attention via social media. Mark Fuhrman (left) is currently employed by Fox – hardly shocking. From Vulture:
Right afterward, Fuhrman was charged with perjury, to which he pleaded no contest, received three years’ probation, and paid a $200 fine. (It was then expunged from his record.) He retired during the trial, and like many of the major figures involved, wrote a book about his experiences. Murder in Brentwood, published by Regnery in 1997, shot up to the top of the New York Times best-seller list, and positions Fuhrman as a victim of America’s racial inequities.
The site continues:
After the success of Murder in Brentwood, Fuhrman would embark on a true-crime spree, writing Murder in Greenwich, Murder in Spokane, and a number of others (his last book was 2009’s The Murder Business). He then became a TV and radio personality with his own talk-radio show, “It’s All About Crime With Mark Fuhrman,” and then “The Mark Fuhrman Show.” He is now a forensic and crime-scene expert for Fox News.
Watch FX next Tuesday at 10 p.m. EST for the final episode, “The Verdict.”