FX Accused of ‘Production Malpractice’ in Olivia de Havilland ‘Feud’ Lawsuit

“It is not industry practice to use a celebrity’s name and identity in a commercial production without permission,” expert says in declaration

Last Updated: September 19, 2017 @ 10:02 AM

Olivia de Havilland has fired her latest shot in a lawsuit over her portrayal in the FX series “Feud,” filing papers that accuse FX Networks and Pacific 2.1 Entertainment Group of “production malpractice.”

The actress’ legal team filed a number of documents in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, including her opposition to the defense motion to dismiss her complaint.

Also among the filings, a number of expert declarations, including one from AFI awards show writer and producer Cort Casady.

“As an award-winning supervising producer for AFI’s tributes to Hollywood’s greatest actors and filmmakers, and as a writer, creator, and producer of televised documentaries, movies, live events, and specials, I am familiar with the protocols and standards in the entertainment industry for including the name, image, character, performance or identity of a celebrity in a script or production,” the declaration states.

“It is not industry practice to use a celebrity’s name and identity in a commercial production without permission, and it is certainly beneath industry standards — in fact, it is production malpractice — to attribute false statements and inaccurate endorsements to a person portrayed in a production without their permission,” the declaration continues.

“Gone With the Wind” actress de Havilland filed suit in June, on the eve of her 101st birthday, alleging that her identity was used without her authorization in the Ryan Murphy-produced anthology series.

The suit also alleges that the 100-year-old actress, who was portrayed by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the miniseries, was placed in a false light.

In a press release issued at the time, de Havilland’s lawyers said, “FX and its partners appropriated Miss de Havilland’s name and identity and placed her in a false light to sensationalize the series and to promote their own businesses, including the FX network and brand, ignoring Miss de Havilland’s interests entirely.”

The first installment of the anthology series, which premiered earlier this year, centered on the rivalry between Bette Davis (portrayed by Susan Sarandon) and Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange).

“Miss de Havilland was not asked by FX for permission to use her name and identity and was not compensated for such use,” de Havilland’s attorneys said in a statement. “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.”

TheWrap has reached out to FX, which had no comment on the initial lawsuit, for comment on the latest filings.