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The Backlash to Will Ferrell's Planned 'Reagan' Film

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News broke Wednesday about a planned movie starring Will Ferrell as the late President Ronald Reagan. Simply titled Reagan, Variety reported, “the story begins at the start of the ex-president’s second term when he falls into dementia and an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the commander in chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.”

Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1994, but there has been speculation that he showed early signs during his presidency — something several members of his administration as well as his primary physician at the time deny. He died in 2004. The CDC estimates 5 million American residents have the incurable disease that destroys brain function and memory.

There was almost immediate backlash over the plan to make Reagan. Michael Reagan, President Reagan’s eldest son, took to Twitter to voice his anger, tweeting, “What an Outrag….Alzheimers is not joke…It kills..You should be ashamed all of you.” [sic]

Patti Davis, Reagan’s daughter, wrote a pointed and eloquent open letter on her website. She said, in part: “I watched as fear invaded my father’s eyes — this man who was never afraid of anything. I heard his voice tremble as he stood in the living room and said, “I don’t know where I am.” … For 10 long years he drifted — past the memories that marked his life, past all that was familiar … and mercifully, finally past the fear. There was laughter in those years, but there was never humor.”

A live reading of the film’s screenplay was held in March. One audience member was Young America’s Foundation spokeswoman Emily Jashinsky. She told The Blaze, “The screenplay, though written to be a humorous satire, rather makes light of Alzheimer’s and undercuts President Reagan’s accomplishments in his second term.” She also took to Twitter, inviting Will Ferrell to the Reagan Ranch, in hopes he’d portray Reagan “accurately.”

Nancy and Ronald Reagan’s Only Film Together: Hellcats of the Navy:

Do you think this planned movie is in poor taste? Do you think people are overreacting? Tell us what you think. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or leave your comments below. And check out our host, Alex Logan, on Twitter. If you’d like to donate to fund research and help provide care to those afflicted, you can visit the Alzheimer’s Association.