American Crime Story Episode 2 – Toxic Masculinity [spoilers]

Episode Two of American Crime Story centers on a manhunt for O.J. Simpson. The man disappeared in a similar white Bronco the police impounded. The white Bronco is one of the pieces of evidence that secured the DA’s arrest warrant. This Bronco appears periodically in the episode, including Nicole’s grave, and feels like an admission of O.J.’s guilt.

American Crime Story still continues to address the complex issues of race and O.J.’s celebrity status, but the real focal point is the media coverage. The information for everyone connected to this case is filtered through his or her TV screen. High profile cases like this resonate on the same level as Bill Cosby. The important details get lost and muddled, as everyone watching gets caught up in the name. One great example of this fact confusion is when Robert Kardashian’s kids see their father on TV. Kardashian is at a press conference, he’s reading out one of O.J.’s suicide notes, and cries as he deals with the onslaught of journalists. His children, completely oblivious, watch from home chanting the family name. Kardashian, despite knowing on some level of that his friend might be guilty, is the only one not consumed by toxic masculinity.

Watching the reaction and responses to the media coverage between the DA, Shapiro and even O.J. builds serious momentum. The events play out like a chain reaction, because each man fears for his reputation. First there’s Robert Shapiro who holds his press conference to remind the world of his past accomplishments. Shapiro insists he’s still the best lawyer money can buy. Second is District Attorney Gil Garcetti, Marcia Clark’s boss, and he gives a press conference to explain how O.J. escaped custody. His first reaction to the crisis of a celebrity fugitive is, “I wanted to run for governor.” Again another man desperately tries to salvage his reputation. O.J. even gets caught up in it, as he insists right up until the end to get arrested away from the cameras. The media coverage glosses over the murder of two innocent people. Instead it’s about O.J. and how he’s the fallen celebrity that everyone loves.



Jess Morton
Jess Morton
Jess is a film theory geek who spends too much time watching Netflix. As a never-ending side project Jess writes feature articles on web series. She lives with her cat Aira in Toronto.