Thursday, we blogged about actor Will Ferrell’s reported plans to play Ronald Reagan in a “comedy” about Reagan’s Alzheimer’s plight.
Despite movie media reporting to the contrary, Reagan wasn’t diagnosed with Alzheimer’s until after he left the White House.
President Reagan’s daughter and son both spoke about against plans to make film. Patti Davis, daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan blogged:
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.
But Reagan’s portrayal is less the point than the mockery of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
As Davis mentioned, nothing about either disease is humorous.
They destroy the dignity of those afflicted and leave the end of their lives a frustrating, difficult mess. I cared for my Grandmother at the end of her life and watched as a strong, feisty, broad struggled to remember what she’d said thirty minutes prior, which family members were still alive, and what year it was because of dementia. Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying, but there is nothing funny or joyful about watching a loved one spend their last days without knowledge of who they are. It’s heartbreaking.
As I blogged Thursday, “I always object to the overly-politicized, outrage ALL the things life, but in this case, I’m going with “poor taste.””
Friday, Will Ferrell reportedly canceled plans to star as Ronald Reagan in the comedy.
Will Ferrell has backed out of a comedy about Ronald Reagan’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease amid outrage from the former president’s family.
The 48-year-old comic had seen the script for “Reagan” and considered staring and producing in the movie — but had a change of heart, a rep for Ferrell told Page Six exclusively Friday.
“The ‘Reagan’ script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered. While it is by no means an ‘Alzheimer’s comedy’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project,” the rep said.
The rep wouldn’t say whether the decision was a direct result of the outcry from Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis, who on Thursday called the movie “cruel” and Farrell “heartless.”
Regardless, I’m thankful Ferrell made the decision to withdraw from the Alzheimer’s “comedy.” I’m sure many others are as well.
Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekayeDONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.