Ryan Murphy and FX are getting sued due to a portrayal of on Feud, and the initial details sound pretty serious. Olivia de Havilland has filed suit against Murphy and the network, and could possibly derail Season 2 of Feud if successful. Here's what we know so far regarding this "feud," and how Havilland says the series has damaged her reputation.
Olivia de Havilland, who Deadline confirms at 101 years old is the only person portrayed in Feud who is still alive, is suing under the claim that her portrayal by Catherine Zeta-Jones has damaged her professional reputation for integrity, honesty, generosity, self-sacrifice, and dignity. Havilland and her lawyers state that no attempt was made by FX to obtain the rights to her likeness, portrayal, or name in the product, and charges FX with infringement of the right of publicity, invasion of privacy and unjust enrichment. Due to her advanced age, Havilland's lawyers are pushing for a speedy trial.
Olivia de Havilland's suit continues on saying that the interviews given by Catherine Zeta-Jones portraying her were false and never given by her. Havilland's lawyers also point to a specific scene in Feud in which the character Havilland makes a remark about Frank Sinatra drinking all the alcohol available in the backstage lounge. They claim that the scene portrayed her in a false, hurtful, and damaging light. FX and 20th Century Fox have not commented on Olivia de Havilland's claims or anything regarding the allegations.
While primarily known as a two-time Oscar award winning actress, Olivia de Havilland is also famous in Hollywood for winning a landmark court case in the late 1930's that actors continue to utilize to this day. Known informally as de Havilland's law, the case successfully freed actors from the grasp of odd calendar stipulations in performance contracts, and allowed them to seek other projects and work without fear of the studio taking them down. Most recently, the law was employed by Karl Urban to seek out other opportunities prior to Star Trek: Beyond when he felt his character role was being marginalized. Ultimately, Urban decided to stay, but he got what he wanted thanks to de Havilland's law allowing him to search out other roles and putting the pressure on the Star Trek team to negotiate.
As for what will happen should this trial go to court, that remains to be seen. It's not immediately clear if an injunction on Feud would only affect Season 1 of the series or if Season 2 of filming (which follows a completely new set of people) could be affected as well. If Season 2 gets halted, it's possible FX could look to resolve the issue sooner than later so that it can get one of its programs back on the rails as soon as possible.
Feud is currently prepping for Season 2 which is set to air sometime in 2018. We'll keep an ear to the ground should anything change due to this lawsuit, but until then those interested in good television should visit our summer premiere guide to find a lot of great shows.