Ryan Muphy's critically-acclaimed anthology series American Crime Story is set to tackle the murder of Gianni Versace, but not everyone is happy about it. Versace's family is speaking out against The Assassination of Gianni Versace, the latest iteration of the FX series, saying it should be treated as fiction.
"The Versace family has neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace," they said in a statement on Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Since Versace did not authorize the book on which it is partly based nor has it taken part in the writing of the screenplay, this TV series should only be considered as a work of fiction."
The season, which is based on the book Vulgar Favors by Maureen Orth, will chronicle the famed designer's murder as well as the life of his killer Andrew Cunanan. It stars Darren Criss as Cunanan, Edgar Ramirez as Gianni, Ricky Martin as his partner and Penelope Cruz as his sister Donatella.
FX, along with Versace's production company Fox 21, responded to the family's statement with their own: "Like the original American Crime Story series The People vs. OJ Simpson, which was based on Jeffrey Toobin's nonfiction bestseller The Run of His Life, FX's follow-up The Assassination Of Gianni Versace is based on Maureen Orth's heavily researched and authenticated nonfiction best-seller Vulgar Favors, which examined the true life crime spree of Andrew Cunanan. We stand by the meticulous reporting of Ms. Orth."
Ryan Murphy is also standing by the series. "We issued a statement saying that this story is based on Maureen Orth's book, which is a very celebrated, lauded work of non-fiction that was vetted now for close to 20 years," Murphy told Variety during The Television Critics Association's winter press tour. "That's really all I have to say about it, other than of course I feel if you're family is ever portrayed in something, it's natural to sort of have a 'Well, let's wait and see what happens' [stance]."
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story premieres Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 10/9c on FX.