Monday, July 3, 2017

Too old to care about my reputation

On Saturday morning when I was listening to the top of the hour news on the classical music station, one of the reports began, "Hollywood legend...." My immediate thought was "Now who died?" It turned out that the rest of the story was about Olivia de Havilland, who was turning 101, is is suing FX. The suit has to do with the FX miniseries Feud, which is about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and the making of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane.

Apparently (I haven't watched the show), Olivia de Havilland is depicted in it, and she or her lawyers don't like the portrayal. (I can't imagine Olivia, living in Paris, watching the show.) They think it damages her reputation and is inaccurate. I understand there's the principle of it all, but I can't help but think that once you get to be 101, you shouldn't have to worry too much about your reputation -- the luxury of being too old to give a damn.

And then there's the question of how pristine de Havilland's reputation is. After all, as part of the Bette/Joan feud, Olivia and Bette celebrated with Coca-Cola after Joan Crawford left the production of Hush, Hush... Sweet Charlotte. Joan probably deserved it, but I'd think people worried about their reputation would want to be seen as classier and above that. And I can only wonder what Joan Fontaine would say if she were still alive.

Somehow I can't imagine Olivia testifying at trial, and certainly not going to Hollywood to do so.