News Tip: O.J. Chase Birthed First Contemporary Celebrity Scandal, Expert Says

The infamous O.J. Simpson car chase 20 years ago led America to a new era of celebrity scandal and analysis, says professor Orin Starn

June 17 marks the 20th anniversary of the O.J. Simpson police chase that riveted a nation and led to one of the most watched and analyzed murder trials in history. Orin StarnProfessor and chair, Cultural Anthropology, Duke University(510) 219-4645; ostarn@duke.edu studies the intersection of sports and popular culture.Quote:"This was the godfather of the contemporary celebrity scandal. The American public was caught off guard by the strange' low-speed police chase of the football legend across Los Angeles, as well as by the subsequent trial -- with its made-for-TV cast of lawyers, prosecutors and unlikely witnesses.""But we adapted quickly to this peculiar brand of theater. Now, the celebrity scandal has become our favorite national reality show and one key way we debate amongst ourselves the role of privilege, race, criminality and more in society today.""Simpson avoided conviction on the murder charges. We are very much still living in the shadow of his famous trial."