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Martin Sheen Wants You to Stop Picking on O.J. Simpson

By Vivian Kane | Industry | March 30, 2016 |

By Vivian Kane | Industry | March 30, 2016 |

Here’s a weird one for you. We all know Hollywood loves to jump on trends, and extend current trends until they’ve been bled as dry as a Donald Drumpf steak. So it’s no surprise that a third OJ Simpson story project is in the works. The first of those is obviously FX’s American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson. This June, ESPN will run a five-part documentary series called O.J.: Made in America. And now it’s been announced that Martin Sheen is getting in on the OJ game with a, er, strong opinion. Sheen is producing his own docuseries, titled Hard Evidence: O.J. Is Innocent.

According to THR, “Investigation Discovery — the cable network known for its crime, mystery and documentary programs — has picked up the six-part entry that will reinvestigate the Simpson case from beginning to end.” So, it’s like Making a Murderer, but instead of investigating the possible framing but definite railroading of a disenfranchised man and boy, it’ll center on an incredibly wealthy, pompous and aggressive asshole who WAS ALREADY FOUND NOT GUILTY.

The point seems to be almost entirely about repairing OJ’s reputation. Because while he “was acquitted in the so-called ‘Trial of the Century,’ he was found liable in a civil suit two years later, and questions about his role in the slayings remain widespread.” And, like, maybe there’s still a “real” killer out there and justice and whatever, but mostly the tagline for this series should just be “Stop picking on The Juice.”

The project is based on the book O.J. Is Innocent and I Can Prove It, written by a Texas private investigator, and it looks to be one hell of an aluminum foil hat yarn wall party. The president of the network used to work at Court TV, so he’s no stranger to the case.

“Like most others I had always believed that the evidence showed that [O.J.] did it,” Schleiff says, “I went into this with a tremendous amount of doubt and cynicism, but this is so amazingly convincing that when you do connect the dots and look at the new evidence, it made me accept the fact that O.J. could actually be innocent.”

As for Martin Sheen, he got involved via Charlie (of course), who brought the book’s author to Los Angeles to pitch the idea, and he’ll be producing as well as narrating the series. If not for a clause in his Netflix contract barring him from appearing onscreen elsewhere, he might have been even more involved. Because he seems really excited, hoping the series will answer three questions:

“What if there were enough evidence that proved O.J. Simpson did not murder his ex-wife Nicole or Ron Goldman? What if the real killer were still at large? And finally, what if a grand jury convened to reconsider the case based on new evidence?”

Again, at least in terms of a criminal case, question number one should maybe just be left alone, no? Like, just let that one lie? Question number two: cool, sure. And #3: Good luck with that.