It would appear that Ryan Murphy has set off a Feud in real life to go with the feud he's trying to portray on screen. In the FX television series Feud: Bette And Joan, Catherine Zeta-Jones took on the role of legendary screen actress Olivia de Havilland, who turned 101 on July 1. While the series focuses on the feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, it would seem that words may have been put in de Havilland's mouth, and the actress is having none of it.
According to a press release:
Miss de Havilland was not asked by FX for permission to use her name and identity and was not compensated for such use. Further, the FX series puts words in the mouth of Miss de Havilland which are inaccurate and contrary to the reputation she has built over an 80-year professional life, specifically refusing to engage in gossip mongering about other actors in order to generate media attention for herself.
While Murphy did acknowledge that he interviewed Bette Davis shortly before her death in 1989, he did not contact de Havilland about any portrayal that might involve her at any point. Instead, he relied on research that he'd conducted over the years to come up with a portrayal of de Havilland that was accurate and nuanced.
Now that de Havilland is speaking out against #Feud, Murphy admitted that he'd never interviewed de Havilland, fearing that he might be seen as "intruding" on the legendary actress' time. Fans appear to be speaking out against Murphy's lack of contact with de Havilland and offering de Havilland support in what appears to be her hour of need.
Ryan Murphy has made a significant name for himself over the years thanks to his creating a huge stable of shows, including: Glee, Scream Queens and American Horror Story. Recently, American Crime Story: The People V. OJ Simpson — the first season of American Crime Story — won nine of 22 awards it was nominated for at the Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for Sarah Paulson and Outstanding Limited Series for the series as a whole. Four of the 10 episodes in the series were directed by Murphy, whose production company is also behind bringing the series to air.
Neither FX nor Ryan Murphy's representatives have commented on the lawsuit, although because of de Havilland's advanced age, her lawyers are requesting an expedited trial date. De Havilland is probably best known, among other roles, for her portrayal of Melanie in the classic film Gone With The Wind.
In honor of the legendary actress' birthday, here's a tribute from her 100th birthday celebrations:
Do you think Ryan Murphy was in the wrong to not consult with De Havilland before filming Feud?