“Alzheimer’s doesn’t care if you are President of the United States or a dockworker”
Will Ferrell is slated to play President Ronald Reagan in an upcoming “comedy.”
According to The Wrap:
Set at the start of the ex-president’s second term when he was suffering from Alzheimer’s, “Reagan” follows the commander-in-chief as he succumbs to dementia and is convinced by an ambitious intern that he’s actually an actor playing the president in a movie.
As PJ Media’s Stephen Kruiser points out, Reagan wasn’t diagnosed with Alzheimer’s until 1994, six years after he left the White House.
Reagan wasn’t diagnosed with Alzheimer’s until 1994, almost a decade after the start of his second term. Liberals and Bill O’Reilly (same thing?) do like to speculate that it was an issue at the time but there is simply no evidence of it. In classic media bias fashion, the false premise is reported as fact here.
In my decades in stand-up, I’ve not had any sacred cows when it comes to subject matter so I have no problem with someone trying to put a comedic twist on anything. I do, however, have a problem with creative laziness, which this project reeks of. Admittedly, I haven’t read the script, but I have watched this dance for all of the aforementioned decades. Whenever a biased media-driven misconception about a Republican is the basis for comedy, bet the house that it will be given a bare minimum effort, largely because the joke has already been written.
Patti Davis, daughter of President Reagan and Nancy Reagan wrote an open-letter to actor Will Ferrell:
Perhaps you have managed to retain some ignorance about Alzheimer’s and other versions of dementia. Perhaps if you knew more, you would not find the subject humorous.
Alzheimer’s doesn’t care if you are President of the United States or a dockworker. It steals what is most precious to a human being — memories, connections, the familiar landmarks of a lifetime that we all come to rely on to hold our place secure in this world and keep us linked to those we have come to know and love. 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.” I watched helplessly as he reached for memories, for words, that were suddenly out of reach and moving farther away. For ten 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.
Alzheimer’s is the ultimate pirate, pillaging a person’s life and leaving an empty landscape behind. It sweeps up entire families, forcing everyone to claw their way through overwhelming grief, confusion, helplessness, and anger. Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have — I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.
Twice a week I run a support group called Beyond Alzheimer’s for caregivers and family members of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. I look into haunted eyes that remind me of my own when my father was ill. I listen to stories of helplessness and loss and am continually moved by the bravery of those who wake up every morning not knowing who their loved one will be that day, or what will be lost. The only certainty with Alzheimer’s is that more will be lost and the disease will always win in the end.
Perhaps you would like to explain to them how this disease is suitable material for a comedy.
Some of the best comedy is irreverent and offensive, but I’m hard-pressed to find anything humorous about Alzheimer’s and Dementia. They’re horrible diseases that destroy the dignity of those afflicted.
I always object to the overly-politicized, outrage ALL the things life, but in this case, I’m going with “poor taste.”
Update (04/29): Ferrell out
— New York Post (@nypost) April 29, 2016
Thankyou for taking the right path.If u want to know more about the decease contact myself or Patti. https://t.co/GGAVV8fyoR
— Michael Reagan (@ReaganWorld) April 29, 2016
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