By Colleen Mearon
Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci premiered in theaters Nov. 24th, but despite a killer cast and rave reviews from viewers, the film lacked approval from the very people it’s based on- the surviving Gucci family. A statement was first issued by ANSA, an Italian news agency, and translated by Variety news:
“The production of the film did not bother to consult the heirs before describing Aldo Gucci – president of the company for 30 years – and the members of the Gucci family as thugs, ignorant and insensitive to the world around them, attributing to the protagonists, events, a tone and an attitude that never belonged to them. This is extremely painful from a human point of view and an insult to the legacy on which the brand is built today.”
Despite claiming they were inaccurately portrayed in the film, there has been no legal action taken from the Gucci family. As producer of the film, Scott has been very dismissive in his response to these allegations. Understandably so, as criticism from the family dates all the way back to April of 2021-and was very offensive to the cast.
Aldo Gucci’s granddaughter Patrizia Reggiani Gucci, played by Lady Gaga in the film, expressed her frustration with the casting to ANSA. “I am rather annoyed at the fact that Lady Gaga is playing me in the new Ridley Scott film without having had the consideration and sensibility to come and meet me. It is not an economic question. I won’t get a cent from the film. It is a question of good sense and respect.” Gaga responded to this claim, expressing that she wanted to take a journalistic approach and build the character on her own, without guidance from anyone else.
Patrizia’s critiques didn’t stop at just Gaga though. She told the Associated Press that “Pacino appeared in on-set photos as ‘fat, short, with sideburns, really ugly’ and not resembling her ‘very handsome” grandfather “at all.’”
It’s hard to take the claims and critiques from the Gucci family seriously when their criticisms have been nothing but superficial and judgmental. Although the film is telling the story of their family’s history, and they very much should have a say in how it’s told, it seems as though they’re quick to judge anything. Consultation from the family would have resulted in a completely different film, one that might not have been as entertaining and successful as what was released.
The issue surrounding the release of House of Gucci in theaters displays a very intricate media ethics issue. On one hand, the offense taken by the Gucci family is warranted, being that they are the center of the story and the reason this film even exists. On the other hand, their rude critiques and the judgemental tones of their criticisms minimize the importance of their opinion. From an ethical standpoint, one has to take into consideration the Gucci family’s criticisms of the film, however their handling of the situation was just as unethical as the production of the film itself.