The Gucci family has threatened House of Gucci with legal action over their portrayal in Ridley Scott’s new film.
The heirs of Aldo Gucci (played by Al Pacino in the film) alleged that “production of the film” did not “bother to consult” them before describing the president of the company for 30 years and “members of the Gucci family as thugs, ignorant and insensitive to the world around them.”
“This is extremely painful from a human point of view and an insult to the legacy on which the brand is built today,” the statement, published by Italian wire service ANSA on Monday (29 November), read.
The murder drama stars Lady Gaga (as Italian socialite Patrizia Reggiani) who spent 16 years in prison for plotting the murder of her ex-husband and one-time head of the fashion company Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver).
Released on 26 November, the film also stars Jared Leto and Salma Hayek.
The heirs – who ran Gucci for 33 years until the mid 80s – took particular offence to Reggiani’s portrayal as a victim, despite the fact that the Italian socialite was “definitively convicted of having been the instigator of the murder of Maurizio Gucci.” She was dubbed the “Black Widow” by the national news media.
Depicting Reggiani as “a victim who was trying to survive in a masculine and macho corporate culture” is even more “objectionable”, the statement read.
Not just in the film, this sympathetic portrayal of Reggiani extends to statements made the film’s cast members, the Gucci heirs said in their statement, that has been widely cited by Italian media since it was released.
In a recent interview with British Vogue, Gaga said she did not wish “to glorify somebody that would commit murder,” through her depiction of Reggiani, but that she did want to “pay respect to women throughout history who became experts at survival” and the “unfortunate consequences of hurt.”
The family rebuffed the Ridley Scott film’s claim that the company wasn’t inclusive towards women.
According to the statement obtained by Variety, “women were in several top positions” such as “the president of Gucci America, the Head of Global PR & Communication, and a member of the board of directors of Gucci America” during the 1980s, when the film is set.
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Noting these inaccuracies, the statement continued, “the Gucci family reserve the right to take every initiative (necessary) to protect their name and image and those of their loved ones.”
Earlier this week, Scott responded to Maurizio’s cousin Patrizia Gucci’s critical statement that the film “is stealing the identity of a family to make a profit to increase the income of the Hollywood system.”
The Last Duel director said: “I don’t engage with that. You have to remember that one Gucci was murdered and another went to jail for tax evasion so you can’t be talking to me about making a profit.”
Earlier this week, designer Tom Ford criticised Leto’s “crazed” performance in House of Gucci.
The Suicide Squad actor plays Paulo Gucci, Aldo Gucci’s son, who was once Gucci’s chief designer.
Ford, who worked for Gucci between 1990 and 2004, said: “Paolo, whom I met on several occasions, was indeed eccentric and did some wacky things, but his overall demeanour was certainly not like the crazed and seemingly mentally challenged character of Leto’s performance.”