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OJ Simpson Turns 70: How His Trial of the Century Created the Kardashians

Executive producer Brad Simpson tells TheWrap that O.J. was “the beginning of reality TV. It’s not a coincidence the Kardashian name is part of it.”

O.J. Simpson’s trial for the murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman was a serious portrait of murder and American racial politics, but it was also the invention of our modern celebrity fixation — the Kardashian family.

When Robert Kardashian delivered a heartbreaking lecture on fame to his awe-struck children at trendy restaurant Chin Chin, it was just days after the Bronco chase.

“Robert Kardashian did take his kids to Chin Chin the Sunday after,”¬†executive producer Brad Simpson told TheWrap in a wide-ranging interview. “This was the beginning of this sort of culture — the beginning of the 24-hour news cycle, the beginning of reality TV. It’s not a coincidence the Kardashian name is part of it.”

Kardashian’s kids soon become consumed by the idea of strangers ogling them.

Brian Bowen Smith/E!

Brian Bowen Smith/E!

“We’re not being opportunistic, but we’re hoping this is a way for younger views to attach into the show. And to understand there was a time before this level of fame didn’t exist for everyone in America. This is a ‘before’ moment,” Simpson said.

We all know the after: In 2007, a sex tape starring Kim Kardashian and a fast friendship with pop heiress Paris Hilton put the family on an unimaginable trajectory toward wealth, fame and media saturation.

After an E! reality show, mobile apps, video games, weight-loss products, countless endorsements and a reported family net worth of over $300 million (Kim herself made $52.5 million in 2015, according to Forbes), the Kardashians are the new mold for modern celebrity fixation.

Robert Kardashian died from cancer in 2003.