Angel Parker on Why the O.J. Simpson Trial Is Still Important Today — Exclusive
If you ask Angel Parker, the famous O.J. Simpson trial is almost as relevant today as it was back in the mid-90s.
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story star, who is playing celebrity lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley from the legal Dream Team, recalled growing up in Southern California during both the 1992 Los Angeles riots as well as the Nicole Brown Simpson murder trial, in an interview with Wetpaint.
“In high school [when I was a sophomore], they read the verdict over the loudspeaker,” the 35-year-old actress said. “There were cheers and applause from the black people, scowls and screams from the white people, and the teachers were crying.”
These historical moments Angel “vividly remembers” are tied into today’s headline-making current events just as the L.A. riots tie into the O.J. Simpson trial because of the tension between the police force and issues about race.
“It’s incredible, with the Black Lives Matter movement and all these things being at the forefront of our news,” Angel continued. “I think people may not change their opinion of O.J. Simpson’s guilt or innocence, but they will understand how he was found not guilty.”
Angel feels the O.J. Simpson trial was a big thing for Johnnie Cochran because he wanted to reveal the corruption of the LAPD, something “we needed at that time and still need across the country.”
“A lot has changed for the better, but a lot of it still has not. The black community and their dealings with police and law enforcement as we can see still is an issue in American culture,” Angel explained. “[The show is] not just talking about O.J. Simpson and the Kardashians.”
As for why you should be tuning in — even though we all know the former NFL star was found “not guilty” in the end — there’s still much to be learned.
“We know that everyone knows the story, there’s no surprise ending,” she said. “We’re giving the audience more than what they’ve already seen.”
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story premieres tonight, February 2, at 10 p.m. ET on FX.