Everyone remembers where they were and how they felt when the jury delivered the not-guilty O.J. Simpson verdict in 1995. Just in time for last night’s premiere of FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, the series’ star is opening up about his own memories.
Cuba Gooding Jr. recently sat down with HuffPost Live, where he said that initially, he was relieved that Simpson was acquitted of the charges.
“When they said ‘not guilty,’ I celebrated because I didn’t care if he did it or he didn’t do it,” Gooding said. “It was like another Black man seeming like he was set up for something he didn’t do. But shooting this series—10 episodes, 10 screenplays—every time I got a new script, my opinion went back and forth. I mean, it was like all over the place.”
Gooding said that though his feelings fluctuated, he thought that the series did a commendable job of describing the racial tensions of this era, which was landmarked by events like the Rodney King riots.
“[Executive producer Ryan Murphy was very specific about keeping his personal feelings vague, even though it’s based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book, who believes he did do it,” he said. “I think the series in a whole is more [of an] examination of this time period and putting the judicial system on trial, because we know what verdict was announced.”
Did you tune in to the premiere last night?