Sarah Paulson's Decision To Take Marcia Clark To The 2016 Emmys Is An Amazing Way To Honor The Prosecutor's Accomplishments
Before I do anything else, I’d like to take a moment to celebrate Sarah Paulson. She’s had a huge year in Hollywood, and as a result is currently up for not one, but two Emmys. First, for her role as the tragic, mascara-streaked addict Hypodermic Sally in American Horror Story: Hotel, and second, for Marcia Clark in American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson . But, it's the subject of the latter — The People v. O.J.'s depiction of the famously polarizing prosecutor — that I think we're all going to remember. Though it happened 20 years later than it should have, Clark finally received redemption during Ryan Murphy's anthology series both thanks to Paulson's portrayal of her, and Murphy's excellent retelling of the trial. Now, both women — the redeemed prosecutor and the actress that played her so effortlessly — will get a chance to share the spotlight together. Because, hey, guess who Sarah Paulson's taking to the Emmys as her date?
Yep: None other than Marcia Clark. In a statement to Access Hollywood, Marcia Clark confirmed the news, saying, “I was incredibly honored that Sarah asked me to go with her to the Emmys, and it will be my privilege to be there to cheer her on.”
The duo attending the Emmys together is especially fitting considering Paulson’s portrayal elucidated an untapped side to the controversial prosecutor — a side that those witnessing the trial firsthand back when it first happened likely missed.
For Clark, the Simpson trial was a constant uphill battle, and, as a result, she was often egregiously presented in the media as the shrill, tightly-wound attorney with dated pant suits and an unlikeable perm. In fact, many people wrote her off as unlikeable fairly quickly, even though they couldn't exactly say why. Thus, she wasn't presented to the world in a humanized, let alone flattering, light. During the trial, The Baltimore Sun even ran a piece about Clark's criticism: Author Susan Reimer wrote, "It was only a matter of time before somebody went after Marcia Clark’s ability to mother her young sons," before explaining that the "child-care card" was often used on Clark. In response to the media's criticisms, Clark remembered during an interview with PEOPLE, "I really didn't want the spotlight, but there was no way to escape it. And there was real hostility there."
The characterization of Clark in American Crime Story seemed interested in examining other sides of her — the sides we weren't allowed to see back in '95 because the media decided not to show them. The result was an empathetic re-rendering of a woman whose sole identity had previously been reduced down to a one liner or a joke about an unflattering hair style. Paulson's depiction of Clark came to its apex in the show's sixth episode, aptly titled "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia." In the episode, Clark's harsh scrutiny was detailed — from the way she was put on blast by the defendant's team to the way she was handled in the news, right down to the instances where her privacy was exploited in tabloids.
What made "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" such a revelatory episode, though, was the way it showed how impossible it was for Clark to win public approval. The 24-hour coverage made everything down to her hairstyle world news, so Clark decided to change it — but, when she did following criticism, the criticisms only doubled. As the episode ended with an exasperated Clark, it was clear that Simpson wasn't the only focus in the case — it was also Clark, often unfairly. It was in this moment that the prosecutor, 20 years later, finally had a fair trial.
Paulson has never won an Emmy, though she's been nominated four times. Maybe with Clark by her side, Paulson will leave the show with a golden statue. Even if she doesn't, though, I think it's fair to say they both took home a win this year.
Images: Giphy (2)