Feud: Bette and Joan: Olivia de Havilland Suing FX and Ryan Murphy Over Her Depiction
If you thought the feud between Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) and Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) was bad, just wait until you hear about the new feud between Olivia de Havilland and Ryan Murphy. Two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland said Friday that she is suing FX and creator Ryan Murphy over the unauthorized use of her identity in Feud: Bette and Joan.
Professionally, de Havilland is best known for her parts in classic films like Gone with the Wind, but she was also a close friend of Bette Davis. So close, that the series cast Catherine Zeta-Jones to play her in six of the eight episodes in its first season.
Now, on the eve of her 101st birthday, de Havilland is suing for the unauthorized use of her identity.
“Miss de Havilland was not asked by FX for permission to use her name and identity and was not compensated for such use,” her attorneys said in a statement to The Los Angeles Times. “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.”
So far, both FX and Murphy have declined to comment, but it appears like some due diligence was neglected if no one behind the series made any attempt to contact Olivia de Havilland for consent.
Feud returns next year to FX.