The stir over photos showing him and politicians maskless over the weekend are much ado about nothing, Johnson said on Friday during Apple TV Plus’ portion of the Television Critics Assn. press tour. Johnson was there to promote “They Call Me Magic,” a new four-part docuseries that premieres on April 22.
“I wore my mask in, I wore my mask out,” Johnson said. “The photos were the photos. Those two guys, Governor Newsom had his mask on, we took the photo. Mayor Garcetti had his mask on and we took the photo, that’s it.”
Johnson experienced a media stir earlier this week, after he posted photos of himself with California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti while not wearing masks in a private suite at SoFi Stadium. Johnson, Newsom, Garcetti, San Francisco mayor London Breed and others were watching the NFC championship game, which the Los Angeles Rams eventually won vs. the San Francisco 49ers.
Johnson said he wasn’t surprised by the politicization of masks that led to the hubub. “This world is always about Rpeublicans and Democrats, you know that!”
According to a report by KABC-TV, Newsom and Garcetti told reporters they were wearing masks throughout the game, but only removed them to pose for the pictures.
Newsom said: “You’ll see the photo I did take. Magic was kind enough, generous enough to ask me for a photograph. In my left hand is a mask and I took the photo. The rest of the time I wore it, as we all should. Not when I had a glass of water. And I encourage everyone else to do so.” And a Garcetti spokesman told KABC that “He was wearing a mask at the game and removed it for a brief moment to take a few photos.” (In the photos, Garcetti is indeed holding a face mask in his hand.)
Hanging out at SoFi Stadium today! pic.twitter.com/XfotiRLGz9
“They Call Me Magic” looks at the life and career of Los Angeles Lakers icon Earvin “Magic” Johnson, focusing on his work—both on and off the court. “This is about my family, this is about me being a businessman,” he said. “It’s a life journey… So many things have happened in my life and I finally get to put it on film and tell that story.”
Directed by Rick Famuyiwa (“Dope”) with editor Dirk Westervelt (“Ford v. Ferrari”) and cinematographer Rachel Morrison (“Black Panther”), the docuseries is produced for Apple TV Plus by XTR and New Slate Ventures, and produced in association with H.Wood Media and Delirio Films.
“With unprecedented access, the docuseries explores Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s remarkable journey from being the face of the Los Angeles Lakers and cementing himself as an all-time NBA legend, to changing the conversation around HIV, and transforming into a successful entrepreneur and community activist,” Apple TV Plus said in announcing the series. “From his humble beginnings in Lansing, Michigan to becoming the global force he is today, ‘They Call Me Magic’ features intimate interviews with Magic, his family, and an all-star lineup, as the docuseries charts the cinematic life of one of the biggest cultural icons of our era.”
Here’s a first look at the series, as posted by Johnson on his Instagram account: