Olivia de Havilland, one of the last remaining stars of classic Hollywood, lost her lawsuit against the series on Monday. Feud, which she had denounced for the alleged derogatory portrait made by her of this production on the FX network. The Court of Appeals for the Second District of California agreed with FX in considering that in this case the First Amendment of the Constitution, which protects freedom of expression, prevails over the claims of the actress.
"In these expressive works, either the person portrayed a world-famous movie star – a 'living legend' – or a person no one knows, he or he does not possess the story. Nor does he have the legal right to control, dictate, approve , disapprove or veto the representation of real people made by the creator, "said the court ruling.
The appeals court thus reversed the interpreter's initial victory last September, when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Holly Kendig ruled against FX's arguments to reject the complaint. De Havilland, 101, sued Feud in June 2017 for the false image and without her permission that was shown of her in this television show that recounts the famous rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. De Havilland is the only person alive who is reflected in Feud and her role was played by actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Feud, a work of the reputed producer and screenwriter Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story, Glee), featured Jessica Lange (Joan Crawford) and Susan Sarandon (Bette Davis). De Havilland accused those responsible for the series of putting phrases he never said in his mouth and inventing situations that never took place, without his authorization and under the pretense that they are real events.
The lawsuit concerned a passage from Feud in which the character of Olivia de Havilland, played by Zeta-Jones, gives an interview at the 1978 Oscars "that never happened" and in which all her statements about Joan Crawford and Bette Davis "are false". In another scene, Feud he teaches de Havilland by calling Joan Fontaine, his sister in real life, "whore" and with whom he had, indeed, a famous enmity. However, de Havilland argued in his indictment that this "offensive term" runs counter to his reputation for "good manners, class, and friendliness."
Well-known for her participation in Gone with the Wind (1939), De Havilland, who specialized in roles as a sweet and kind woman, has two Oscars for the Intimate Life of Julia Norris (1946) and The heiress (1949). The interpreter is not a novice in terms of legal litigation, since she was one of the first actresses to challenge and defeat the almighty system of the large studios due to the abusive working conditions to which the artists of classic Hollywood were subjected.
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