Patti Davis, Ronald Reagan’s daughter, used her blog to criticize Will Ferrell for his plans to include her father’s Alzheimer condition in an upcoming comedy. The actor will play the former president in a production via Gary Sanchez Productions. The comedy will tell the story of an intern who is in charge of convincing Reagan that he is an actor tasked with playing the President in a film.
Mike Rosolio wrote the screenplay, which was very well received on the Black List, the annual rundown of the best-unproduced movie scripts. A live reading was even staged in March, starring Josh Brolin – who played Reagan –, Lena Dunham, John Cho and Paul Scheer.
“Perhaps you would like to explain to them [dementia sufferers] how this disease is suitable material for a comedy,” Patti Davis wrote in the open letter she published on her blog.
Davis described several episodes of her father’s worst moments, including one in which he was standing in the living room and fear took over his eyes as he said he did not know where he was. Before Alzheimer began to destroy his life, Reagan was never afraid of anything, his daughter wrote.
She added that she was there to watch helplessly as he unsuccessfully tried to reach memories and words that were moving farther away.
Reagan’s daughter attributed Ferrell’s plans to ignorance, or at least she hoped that would be the reason why he decided to take her father’s Alzheimer disease as a joke. She wrote to the comic actor that he should visit a dementia facility to research his role.
At the end of her letter, Davis wrote that twice a week she runs a support group called Beyond Alzheimer’s intended to help caregivers and family members of people suffering from Alzheimer and other forms of dementia. She feels empathy for those with haunted eyes who keep in mind that the disease “will always win in the end”.
Criticism extends to well-known conservatives
But Reagan’s daughter is not the only one who thinks there is nothing humorous about Alzheimer. Former Republican congressman Joe Walsh retweeted a post by Kevin Robillard which reads that even in his worst days in office Ronald Reagan was better than any Democrat in recent memory.
Amy Lutz of the Young America’s Foundation said she attended the live reading of the movie that has the name of the former president and described the film as “detached from reality”, as she wrote on the conservative website The Blaze.
Ferrell has already interpreted President George W. Bush both in skits and onstage. The upcoming controversial film does not have a director yet and is still being offered to movie studios.
Source: Books by Patti Davis