Will Ferrell’s Ronald Reagan Alzheimer’s Comedy Slammed By President’s Son

Truth rating: 10
Will Ferrell Michael Reagan

By Andrew Shuster |

Will Ferrell Michael Reagan

(Getty Images)

Will Ferrell has signed on to play Ronald Regan in an upcoming comedy centered around the former U.S. President’s second term in office, during which he began suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The 40th president’s son, Michael Reagan, is now slamming the movie for deriving humor from his father’s battle with dementia.

In the upcoming Reagan, which Ferrell is also producing, a White House intern is tasked with convincing the ailing president that he’s actually an actor playing the role of the president in a movie. In response to the news about the film, Michael Reagan tweeted, “What an Outrag[e]. Alzheimers is not joke. It kills. You should be ashamed all of you.” He later added, “Alzheimers is not a comedy!”

Shortly following President Reagan’s death in 2004 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for nearly a decade, his son launched The Reagan Legacy Foundation, which aims to advance the former president’s causes and memorialize his accomplishments. Reagan’s wife, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, died just last month. Her cause of death was congestive heart failure.

Patti Davis, President Reagan’s daughter, also criticized the film in an open letter to Ferrell on her official blog. David detailed some of the afflictions her father faced in his later years, as well as the pain it caused her family, adding, “Perhaps you would like to explain [to sufferers] how this disease is suitable material for a comedy.”

Reagan, of course, is not a biographical film, nor is it based on actual events, but many others on social media have also taken issue with the idea of poking fun at a disease that brings anguish to millions of people and their families. For his part, Ferrell has yet to respond to the controversy surrounding the upcoming film.


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