FX’s “The People v OJ Simpson” never claimed to be a documentary, but it can hold its head high when it comes to accuracy. Even some of the strangest moments portrayed in the series really happened.
But at times, for the sake of drama, it condensed or dramatized events as any good drama should do. But the show also took some major liberties.
Here’s what the show seems to have made up.
A lawyer did not really collapse in court. Prosecutor Bill Hodgman was taken to a hospital, but it happened after court was over.
Johnnie Cochran (Courtney B. Vance) really did tell Chris Darden (Sterling K. Brown) to make the white prosecutors handle Det. Mark Fuhrman. But Darden says it happened in court, not in Simpson’s backyard.
Remember when a juror says white people prefer Target and black people prefer Ross? We found nothing to indicate it happened, in the court record or the book on which the series is based.
That moment when Darden says he should be held in contempt and Clark offers to take off her watch and jewelry to go to jail? It all happened, but not during a Feb. 23, 1995 hearing on the Fuhrman tapes, as portrayed on the show. Judge Lance Ito’s ruling on the tapes didn’t come until Aug. 31, 1995. Also, that exchange didn’t come during the Furhman argument, but rather at a totally different time.
We’re not saying Johnnie Cochran never said Michael Jackson was afraid of lime green, but this picture strongly suggests MJ liked lime green just fine.
Our list of the bizarre details the show got right is longer than our list of fairly minor things it got wrong. That should tell you something.
In this gallery, the show’s lead writers explain why they made a few things up.