Assassination of Gianni Versace producer calls for empathy in Golden Globes speech
The Assassination of Gianni Versace won the trophy for Best Limited Series or TV Movie at the 76th Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, four months after it won the Emmy in the same category — and much like executive producer Ryan Murphy’s speech then, Murphy’s fellow EP Brad Simpson used the bulk of his acceptance speech to remind the audience of how prevalent intolerance as depicted in the series continues to be, despite Versace being a period piece.
“Gianni Versace was murdered 21 years ago,” Simpson said while accepting the award. “He was one of the few public figures who was out during a time of intense hate and fear.… Those forces of hate and fear are still with us. They tell us we should be scared of people who are different than us. They tell us that we should put walls around us.
“As human beings we should resist in the streets, resist at the ballot box, and practice empathy in our everyday lives,” he continued. “Those forces are not historical. They’re here, they’re with us, and we must resist.”
The second installment of the American Crime Story anthology series, also executive-produced by Nina Jacobson, followed the murder of the titular designer by Andrew Cunanan, a man who had been obsessed with Versace. Starring Edgar Ramírez as Versace, Glee’s Darren Criss as Cunanan, Penélope Cruz as Donatella Versace, and Ricky Martin as Gianni’s lover Antonio D’Amico, the drama saw the events unfold in nine episodes, beginning with the murder itself.
The story had stayed with Murphy for a long time; in fact, he told EW last June for a cover story, he’d pitched it even before the first season of American Crime Story, which centered on O.J. Simpson, aired. “I kept going back to Versace because it was different from O.J. tonally,” he said at the time. “It was a manhunt and it takes place all over the country.”
Versace scored four Golden Globe nominations in total, the most in the television categories, including nods for Criss (who won), Cruz, and Ramirez.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace beat out fellow nominees The Alienist (TNT), Escape at Dannemora (Showtime), Sharp Objects (HBO), and A Very English Scandal (Amazon).
See the full list of Golden Globes winners, updating live throughout the night.