Tuesday's episode of the FX anthology crime series "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson" centered on the famous Mark Fuhrman tapes, which Judge Lance Ito notoriously allowed the court to hear during the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial.
Though the infamous murder trial was riddled with controversy, none was as disputed as the Fuhrman tapes. In the March 29 episode, "Manna from Heaven," the defense team, led by Johnnie Cochran (Courtney B. Vance), argued that the Mark Fuhrman (Steven Pasquale) tapes should be played for the jury. Meanwhile, prosecutors Chris Darden (Sterling K. Brown) and Marcia Clark (Sarah Paulson) almost found themselves being held in contempt after protesting Judge Ito's (Kenneth Choi) decision.
Choi recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his views on Judge Ito and how Ito's decision to play the tapes and to televise the trial may have affected it's outcome.
According to the actor, though Ito has received a lot of criticism for the O.J. Simpson case, he has tried to stay impartial. "I can't criticize or be judgmental of the person I'm playing," he said. "I have to do my best to understand him and what he does. I personally think he had the weight of the world on his shoulders as this sort of ringmaster in this circus played out on such a huge scale."
Though Choi admitted that the pressure on Ito "absolutely" affected some of his decisions, he also pointed out that Ito was known to be a "very good, very smart, very fair" judge.
Asked whether or not he thinks that Ito's decision about the Mark Fuhrman tapes affected the verdict, Choi answered, "I don't know that it affected the outcome."
"The jury heard the two snippets from the tapes, and I think that was enough," he explained. "The damage was done.
As for Ito's decision to televise the trial, thus creating a media circus, Choi said, "I think it had some adverse effect, absolutely."
Meanwhile, as followers of the series await its final episode next Tuesday, they will be pleased to know that Esquire will be airing an O.J. Simpson trial special two days before the "American Crime Story" finale. According to Variety, the special, titled "The Real O.J. Simpson Trial," will air as a 12-hour marathon on Sunday, April 3, on Esquire's cable channel.
"American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson" wraps next Tuesday, April 5, at 10 p.m. ET on FX.