You don’t have to be terribly old to learn you don’t mess with old broads. They have zero fucks to give and all the time in the world to find some way to snatch your weave and bring you down a peg or fifteen. Ryan Murphy is getting his own lesson, as 101-year-old Olivia de Havilland decided to come for him for using her likeness without her permission in Feud.
Catherine Zeta-Jones played Olivia in Feud, and at first, I just assumed she was pissed a QVC maven who dabbled as Velma Kelly was not good enough to portray her, but I guess it stems from how Ryan’s version made her out to look like a total gossip. Catherine’s Olivia also referred to her real-life sister Joan Fontaine as her “bitch sister.” Olivia said in a deposition, “That kind of vulgarity is not language that I use.”
Page Six says the California Court of Appeals is hearing arguments Tuesday at USC to determine whether Olivia can continue to sue FX Networks and Ryan Murphy. Olivia would like to wrap up the lawsuit quickly since she’s 101.
FX tried to get the case tossed out of court because they said it violated free speech laws, and one judge seemed to agree…before another took Olivia’s side after her lawyers presented an argument that made it seem like they had a shot at winning. This has caused Hollywood heavyweights to join together in solidarity. The MPAA and Netflix filed friends of the court briefs on the side of FX to say a ruling in Olivia’s favor would take a celeb’s rights to publicity (currently just tied to ads and merchandising) over free speech:
“If creators of expressive works that dramatize stories about real people can face actionable right of publicity claims unless they obtain the consent of everyone relevant to the story, fictionalized stories about real people will be stifled by censorship attempts launched by our most popular, powerful, and controversial celebrities and politicians—and limited to depicting only their (likely highly sanitized) — version of events.”
I’m sure Keira Knightley will pen her own friend of the court brief on the side of FX, too – if they can’t do period pieces anymore, how in the hell is she supposed to collect a check??