Sacha Baron Cohen interviewing O.J. Simpson.

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s Showtime series Who Is America? has seen plenty of bizarre hidden-camera interviews of politicians and celebrities,  but one of the strangest came in Sunday’s finale with Baron Cohen’s interview with O.J. Simpson. Playing an Italian playboy named Gio Monaldo, Baron Cohen repeatedly tried to get Simpson to admit to the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. Here’s the clip:

Between explaining who Simpson is to his girlfriend with “stab, stab, stab!”, talking about how he wants to kill his girlfriend in a bungee-jumping accident (leading to Simpson contributing “cord extra long”), and telling Simpson he has a business partner who wants to hear the real story of “that night with the wife…the one you shot,” Baron Cohen really goes in on trying to get Simpson to confess here. But Simpson doesn’t particularly do that, mostly laughing and saying “Stop!”, and responding to the question about “that night” with “Well, first of all, she wasn’t my wife. We had been divorced. And second of all, I didn’t do it. … I didn’t ‘get away’ with nothing.” Also, Baron Cohen says “Me and you, we got something in common. We both, how you say, ‘ladykillers,’” at one point, and Simpson replies “No, I didn’t kill nobody” while laughing.

Well, that’s certainly some uncomfortable television, but it doesn’t seem terribly likely to change anyone’s mind one way or the other on Simpson. And given that Baron Cohen reportedly paid Simpson $20,000 for this interview (which explains why Simpson just didn’t end it), it’s worth wondering if this was really the best use of anyone’s time or money. Especially considering the criticism this drew from the families of the victims when news of it first came out, with Nicole Brown’s sister Tanya having particularly strong words:

“Nicole and Ron are two human beings who were brutally murdered. This is not a joke nor is it entertainment. If Sacha makes this a comedic effort his victims will be personified as a joke. Shame on him.”

Whether it’s worth diving into the O.J. saga yet again and paying him to do so is up for debate, as are many of the things Baron Cohen did over Who Is America?‘s run (and many of the things he’s done over his wider career). It sounds like there won’t be any more of this particular show, though; despite Showtime president David Nevins’ previous comments that he was “dying to bring [the show] back, Baron Cohen tweeted Sunday that the finale was the “last EVER show of Who Is America.” We’ll see what project he moves on to next, but he’ll have a hard act to follow in terms of uncomfortable interviews after this one.

[The Guardian]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

2 thoughts on “Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America?” wraps up with a remarkably uncomfortable interview with O.J. Simpson

  1. What may be the saddest revelation of corruption that now overshadows the hidden phone records indicating Simpson’s wife was alive when he was climbing into a limo at 11PM by LADA’s, or the glove planted by the LAPD’s Det. Mark Fuhrman is the role the FBI played in not only concealing the truth but their own effort to manipulate evidence to favor the prosecution in the Simpson trial. The press never followed up on the Whitehurst complaint filed on behalf of 4 other FBI agents by agent Frederic Whitehurst with the USDOJ-Office of the Inspector General that another agent, Roger Martz, was committing what is supposed to be a cardinal sin in the FBI, lying on the witness stand. However, instead of exposing him for the perjuring liar he was, the FBI sent a senior counsel to LA to keep the subpoenaed Whitehurst from taking the witness stand and exposing the liar. Martz stole the research of other agents and started inventing research and alleging that the concentration of a blood preservative was not in as high concentration as it was. Thus, a higher concentration indicated the blood came out of a blood collection vial and was planted drop by drop. Nor did the FBI prevent another agent from representing their brand by lying and placing Simpson’s foot in alleged Bruno Magli shoes he knew did not fit Simpson’s foot. Our investigators noticed how small the shoe prints were in the police photographs and attained a copy of the shoe soles from the Italian manufacturer and then attained a tracing of Simpson’s foot which is seen in green in the attachment. The FBI agent also downplayed the reality that he could not distinguish the Bruno Magli alleged shoe from 20 other brands of shoes that carried the same shoe sole. The failure of the press maybe the most agonizing aspect of this whole affair because they bothered to do no further due diligence, and basically accepted the allegation first hand that the N-word was guilty. Thus, they were duped into accepting a 400 year old racial taboo, that a black man has no right that a white man is bound to respect. See SERPENTS RISING: The OJ Simpson Conspiracy at http://www.serpentsrising.com and/or read up on OMIG’s investigation of the Simpson matter at https://maddoggbuttkickingbrown.blog/

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