Netflix’s true-crime docu-series Making a Murderer prompted hundreds of thousands of viewers to call for the reexamination of subject Steven Avery’s murder trial. But apparently New Kids on the Block member Donnie Wahlberg isn’t one of them.
The Blue Bloods star penned a lengthy editorial for the Chicago Sun-Times titled “Making a Murderer, or Making a Martyr?” that cautioned viewers of the Netflix docu-series that it presented only one side. At its core, Wahlberg compared Steven Avery’s case to another high-profile case: the ’90s trial of O.J. Simpson.
“In ‘Making a Murderer,’ the police are made to look like ‘evil’ men by the defense. Just like Johnny Cochran argued about the cops in the O.J. case,” Wahlberg writes. “But did the Manitowoc officers ever show anything in their history that would make us think that they were any more evil than Detective Mark Fuhrman was in the O.J. trial? Mark Fuhrman: A cop who put his hand on a Bible and swore to have never said the ‘N-word’ in his life, but was then proven to have uttered it hundreds of times only weeks earlier.”
Wahlberg points out more similarities between the two, including the grand theater of both. That’s where the two deviate, in the 46-year-old’s mind. “In the O.J. trial, nothing was withheld from viewers. We heard both sides infamously give their colorful arguments, going over every single piece of evidence that we could possibly digest,” he writes. “But in the Steven Avery trial, we really only heard one side of the story. The side that served the show’s narrative (and the defense’s theory), that the police framed an innocent man.”
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The prosecutors in Avery’s case would agree with Wahlberg on that count. Former Wisconsin state prosecutor Ken Kratz said filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos left out key information from the series. “You don’t want to muddy up a perfectly good conspiracy movie with what actually happened,” Kratz told PEOPLE, “and certainly not provide the audience with the evidence the jury considered to reject that claim.”
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Read Wahlberg’s full op-ed here.