Gendy Alimurung's piece about Michael Monk, who wrote a book about the O.J. Simpson case in iambic pentameter, stirred up memories for readers (“The Tragedy of Orenthal: Prince of Brentwood, a New Play About O.J. Simpson,” June 12).
Reader “Old White Guy” writes, “Monk's play about the O.J. trial rehashes the line that the mostly black jury acquitted O.J. out of (racial) sympathy and as part of the black community's drive to get revenge for the Rodney King verdicts. But to say that nine jurors put aside their sworn duty because they and the defendant were black is just plain racism. … Any one juror, white or black, could have hung the jury if they didn't think an acquittal was justified, but none did. They found, unanimously, that the case against O.J. had not been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt.
“A more accurate analysis is that the prosecutor and the LAPD put on a weak case that was full of holes, racism and contradictions. The prosecution deserved to lose. O.J. didn't deserve to win, and he didn't. He wasn't found innocent; he was found not proven guilty.”
But Ronald Akins says, “Concerning the O.J. Simpson article, it should be obvious that the prosecution did not blunder but that the fix was in from the very beginning. After the riots and earthquakes, Los Angeles' image was in the pits. We could not afford another riot if O.J. was found guilty.
“The Simpson trial was as carefully stage-managed as any Broadway production. Black people got to cheer because their hero got off, and white people got to moan and groan at an obvious miscarriage of justice. And best of all? No riot.”
The Artist Is a Crook
If someone molests a child, can we still enjoy their films? The recently revived allegations from Woody Allen's estranged daughter had many people feeling a bit queasy about their love of Annie Hall and Blue Jasmine. Raising some of the same issues, Michael Goldstein's online essay reminded readers that every time “Rock and Roll Part 2” plays at a stadium or on a commercial (you know the song: “Da da da – Hey!”), Gary Glitter profits, even though he's a repeat sex offender (“Why Do We Keep Making Child Molester Gary Glitter Rich,” June 3).
Readers weren't ready to stop the music. Brandollars says, “Let's petition Netflix and Amazon to remove Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown from their archive! Screw Gary Glitter, what about Roman Polanski?? Judge the art, not the artist.“
Brad Warner agrees. “Why do we keep doing this? Because they're still cool songs. Oddly enough, very good art sometimes comes from really awful people. … I don't think he is those songs. The songs have a life of their own.”
Last week's capsule film review of This Is Not a Ball referred incorrectly to the location of Azteca Stadium. It's in Mexico City. We regret the error.
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