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Bowing to the TV Gods

The Versace family is not happy with how Gianni Versace’s sexuality is portrayed in “American Crime Story”

George Rose/Getty Images

Taking on a true story is always a difficult task: Every detail has to be meticulously considered to be respectful to the subject and material. We’ve seen this year with I, Tonya what can happen when you tell a true story and the people involved are still alive. The feelings of those involved can be hurt and people will make their own assumptions about what really happened. We’re starting to see this again with Ryan Murphy’s latest series, American Crime Story, in which the season’s subject is the murder of Gianni Versace.

Recently, the Versace family has reacted to the show, and called the production’s retelling of Versace’s murder a work of fiction. Creator Ryan Murphy, however, has stood by his narrative. The story we’ll see on TV is based on Maureen Orth’s Vulgar Favors, a book that the Versace family has stated is full of lies and gossip. Intimate details of Versace’s life are explored in the book, and we can now tune in to see what the powerful fashion family is talking about.

One thing we know for sure is that Versace’s sexuality will be explored on the controversial show. According to his partner, Antonio D’Amico, Versace was very open about his sexuality. But the show will reportedly paint Versace in a way that is not consistent with D’Amico’s account, showing him as cautious of his sexuality and lying for safety reasons. The show will seemingly focus more on the idea of Versace, and not necessarily the whole truth.

Versace was with D’Amico for 15 years, and of the show’s dissenters, his voice is resonating loudly. Murphy’s series’ have been critically acclaimed for years and have a devoted fanbase; his last series for American Crime Story, which focused on the trial of OJ Simpson, was an awards season darling. It will be very interesting to see what is drama and what is real in Murphy’s own interpretation of Versace’s murder.

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