FX’s newest drama, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, is generating a ton of buzz and has been applauded by critics and viewers alike. Part of what makes ACS so captivating is that the storyline is apart of recent history. The O.J. Simpson criminal proceedings was a cultural phenomenon in the 1980’s which the entire country was paying attention to. Additionally, almost all of the main “characters” are still alive and well today and can watch their life story being shown on television. Of course, this is not universal as Robert Kardashian, played by David Schwimmer, passed away in 2003. However, the rest of the Kardashian family is now seeing a fictionalized version of themselves every week.
Khloe Kardashian, who is portrayed by a child actress in American Crime Story, recently spoke out regarding some of the inaccuracies in the Kardashian family’s portrayal:
I really appreciate the way they’ve portrayed my father. I’m very grateful for that. But, not all the facts are accurate. Like when O.J. was contemplating suicide it was in my room, and not Kim’s room. They’re kind of sensationalizing the Kardashian name in it to bring a younger audience in. There was some scene of the kids chanting ‘Kardashian’ as my Dad was reading the potential suicide note. [The family has said] absolutely not did that happen.
Well, it looks like Khloe is once again playing second fiddle to her sister Kim. This statement, which comes to us from The Late Late Show With James Corden, addresses a few instances in the series.
The scene where O.J. was about to attempt suicide was pretty startling. After sleeping in Kim’s (or apparently, Khloe’s) utterly 80’s bedroom, he attempted to commit suicide in order to prevent arrest. Robert Kardashian enters the room and tries to calm Simpson and pleads for him not to take his life in the room where his daughter sleeps. The juxtaposition between the dire nature of the situation, as well Simpson being surrounded by posters of Justin Taylor Thomas, made for a captivating scene. And America wondered: did he really try to kill himself in Kim Kardashian’s room?
It does bode well for the Kardashian family that they’re aware how well Robert Kardashian is being portrayed in American Crime Story. David Schwimmer’s earnest performance paints Kardashian to be extremely loyal and caring. Similarly, Selma Blair’s Kris Jenner is also being portrayed rather saintly. She seems to be quick enough to realize that O.J. must be guilty, and is shown trying to talk sense into her ex-husband.
The inclusion of the four Kardashian children; however, is less than flattering. Ryan Murphy’s direction, as well as American Crime Story’s writing, is full of jabs at the family which would end up becoming an American sensation. They’re seen playing loudly during Nicole Brown’s funeral, as well as quickly becoming obsessed with the idea of fame. The scene Khloe references includes all four of them chanting the family name at the TV, as they see their father reach celebrity status for the first time.
Additionally, Episode 3 included a scene where Robert Kardashian attempts to teach the family that fame isn’t important. In the scene, he says the following:
We are Kardashians. And in this family, being a good person and a loyal friend is more important than being famous. Fame is fleeting and it’s hollow. It means nothing at all without a virtuous heart.
This scene feels like a bit of a slap to the face. We all know how the family turns out: their fame defines them by constantly filming new reality shows as well as other business ventures. Robert’s message seemingly fell on deaf ears, and all of the audience knows this.
American Crime Story airs Tuesdays on FX.