Preview – OJ: Made in America

OJ Simpson

Part two of this fascinating Storyville insight into the life of OJ Simpson, the former American football star who was one of the first black Americans to achieve superstar status at a time when the US was still wracked by racial division.

In the UK, there are two stories that encapsulate the life of ‘The Juice’, the all-star running back who was an irrepressible force for the Buffalo Bills between 1969 and 1978. The good-looking superstar showman that every brand wanted to be endorsed by, and the theatre of his fall from grace; the LA freeway car chase, the Hollywood-style trial and acquittal on charges that he murdered his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

Tonight’s episode examines the inequality that existed in Los Angeles in the early 1990s. A few miles away from the privileged lifestyle of Simpson at his Rockingham estate, millions of black people lived an entirely different reality at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department. It was in this ‘other’ Los Angeles where riots erupted in 1992, after the beating of Rodney King. The city burned for nearly a week that spring, laying bare all the anger, and all the alienation, that black people in Los Angeles felt towards the police. Back in Brentwood, OJ had other concerns.

OJ: Made in America – Tuesday 10.00pm on BBC4.