In their KCRW interview with The Treatment‘s Elvis Mitchell, The People vs. O.J. Simpson co-authors Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski take issue with yours truly. It happens around the 26:20 mark — here’s the mp3. They say I criticized the casting of Cuba Gooding as O.J. because I couldn’t believe Cuba as a killer. I never said that. Anyone can be a killer if the wrong chemicals and circumstances combust.
What I said is the following, broken down in sections (all re-posted): (a) At 5′ 10″, Cuba lacks that brawny, broad-shouldered quality that Simpson (who stands around 6′ 2″) had in his prime; (b) Cuba can’t find that cool, studly, possibly malicious vibe — a guy who might have an Othello complex going on inside; (c) O.J. had relatively trim, clean features while Cuba looks weathered, saggy, baggy-eyed; (d) Cuba has the wrong nose — OJ’s nose was fairly straight, almost Romanesque; (e) Cuba is whiny and raspy-voiced, his shoulders are narrow and small, he’s too short and wimpy.
The People vs. O.J. Simpson is brilliant drama and a riveting social lesson. I’ve now seen nine out of ten episodes, and I can’t wait for the depictions of radically differing reactions to the not-guilty verdict among whites and blacks. The not-guilty verdict was the “downtown” jury saying “Maybe he killed her and maybe he didn’t but Johnny Cochran gave us enough of an excuse to fantasize that he might not have, but first and foremost we’re addressing the racism of the L.A.P.D. and all the ugliness they’ve brought to the black community.
“Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman are dead but we’re still here, right here and now, and this is our life. We’re not concerned with guilt or innocence as much as our addressing the hurt so many of us have had to deal with. Yes, you could define our verdict as sociopathic, but we addressed what we felt was the greater wrong.”
Does Cuba do well performance-wise? Yeah, I suppose. He does his best, acts it as well as he can. He’s not a stopper as far as my enjoyment of the series if concerned, but he’s definitely a speed bump.
Again, the mp3.