The director of ESPN’s upcoming O.J. Simpson documentary series says he probably won’t be watching “American Crime Story” when it premieres next month.
“I haven’t seen any episodes of that thing, and probably won’t for a while,” Ezra Edelman (above right) said during a panel Tuesday at the 2016 Television Critics Association winter press tour in Paadena, California.
Where Robert Kardashian figures heavily into FX’s dramatic retelling of the O.J. Simpson murder trial, Edelman says that the lawyer does not play a prominent role in “O.J.: Made in America.” “He, for me, was not one of the more focal characters,” the director said.
According to Edelman, the ESPN documentary miniseries, which will debut at Sundance before airing in June, features a narrative “that takes place over 40 years, and not one,” and aims to give the full context of race relations in Los Angeles and America, stretching back to the 1950s.
“What Ezra’s able to do here, by discussing O.J.’s relationship with his own race … really gives you this perspective that makes you look at the events in 1994 in a whole different way,” said Connor Schell, SVP, ESPN Films (above left).
Edelman also said the documentary series sets itself apart by featuring interviews with several of the case’s key players, offering new perspectives on a trial that achieved “full cultural absorption.”
One of those interviewed was prosecutor Marcia Clark, who Edelman said has not been interviewed since the original events of the trial.
“Most people were reluctant to talk … Most people have the philosophy of “I lived through this, I want this to go away,'” he said. “I think she was convinced by the way we approached the story.”
“To sit down and listen to these people who lived through this and how their images were manipulated through the media … and to see them in flesh, is to me the most powerful part of it,” Edelman said.