Controversy Erupts Over OJ Simpson's Obituary: What Did The New York Times Change?

By Greg Moriarty | Saturday, 13 April 2024 10:15 PM
Views 4.5K

The New York Times recently faced a wave of criticism over its obituary for O.J. Simpson, the former NFL Hall of Fame running back and celebrity, who passed away at 76 following a battle with prostate cancer.

The obituary initially stated, “He ran to football fame on the field and made fortunes in movies. But his world was ruined after he was charged with killing his former wife and her friend.” This statement sparked outrage among readers, leading to a revision of the text.

Simpson, who was acquitted in 1995 for the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, was a renowned figure in the sports and entertainment industry. He was known for his successful football career, his roles in movies, and his endorsement deals with brands such as Hertz. However, his reputation was marred by the murder charges.

 WATCH: AOC AND MTG FIGHTING IN CONGRESSbell_image

Following the backlash, The Times revised the controversial statement to read, “He ran to football fame and made fortunes in movies. His trial for the murder of his former wife and her friend became an inflection point on race in America.” This alteration was met with mixed reactions on social media.

 WATCH: DOOCY AND KJP ARE HAVING A LITTLE FUN FOR A CHANGEbell_image

Darren Haber, a user on X, criticized The Times' approach, stating, “Leave it to the Times to both sides it,” and added, “Critics see a violent sociopath, while others cry foul, seeing a vulnerable man driven to the edge.” Another user posted images of Brown Simpson and Goldman, commenting, “Jesus. THEIR worlds were ruined.”

 HEY, WISEGUYS! AMC’S TRIGGER WARNING FOR ‘GOODFELLAS’ SPARKS OUTRAGEbell_image

The Times also revised another line from the obituary that originally read, “The infamous case, which held up a cracked mirror to Black and white America, cleared Mr. Simpson but ruined his world.” The revised line stated, “The jury in the murder trial cleared him, but the case, which had held up a cracked mirror to Black and white America, changed the trajectory of his life.”

 HELICOPTER CRASH CLAIMS LIVES OF IRANIAN PRESIDENT: WHAT DOES THIS MEANS FOR GLOBAL POLITICS?bell_image

Mediaite reported the changes made by The Times, and The Post has reached out to The Times for comment.

The New York Times was not the only publication to stumble over Simpson's obituary. The Los Angeles Times faced ridicule after mistakenly identifying Simpson as former President Donald Trump. The error, which stated that Trump was released on parole after serving nine years in a Nevada state prison in 2017, was later corrected.

 FROM GOLF GREENS TO SIN CITY: DC MAYOR'S SPENDING SPREE CONTINUES ON YOUR DIMEbell_image

The LA Times acknowledged the mistake in an editor's note, stating, “An earlier version of this obituary incorrectly contained a typographical error that used the wrong name when describing Simpson leaving Lovelock Correctional Center.” The note confirmed that the error had been corrected.

Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison in 2008 for his involvement in an armed robbery of a sports memorabilia dealer in a Las Vegas hotel. He was granted parole after serving nine years.

X