- (Photo: Screenshot/CNN)
While most Americans give "Lee Daniel's The Butler" a favorable rating, one prominent family is not happy with the film. Michael Reagan, son of former president Ronald, says the film inaccurately portrays his father as a racist.
"It's appalling to me that someone is trying to imply my father was a racist," Michael wrote on Newsmax. "He and Nancy and the rest of the Reagan family treated Mr. Allen with the utmost respect. It was Nancy Reagan who invited the butler to dinner – not to work but as guest. And it was my father who promoted Mr. Allen to maître d'hôtel."
The film, which is loosely based on the life of Eugene Allen, a plantation worker who then worked as a butler in the White House from 1957 to 1986; he worked for eight presidents and had a very unique life story. Forest Whitaker took on the role of Cecil Gaines, the character based on Allen.
"The real story of the White House butler doesn't imply racism at all," Michael continued. "It's simply Hollywood liberals wanting to believe something about my father that was never there." Lifting sanctions on South Africa's apartheid regime "had nothing to do with the narrow issue of race," Michael explained.
"It had to do with the geopolitics of the cold war. But facts don't matter to Hollywood's creative propagandists. Truth is too complicated and not dramatic enough for scriptwriters, who think in minute terms, not the big picture, when it comes to a conservative," he noted.
Alan Rickman portrayed Ronald Reagan, while Jane Fonda played Nancy. It was a controversial casting decision, given that Fonda had often criticized President Reagan's policy, especially during the Vietnam War. She led political protests and demonstrations against the War.
President Obama told the press that he "teared up" while watching the film.
"I'm glad they did the film. All of the acting was terrific, and I thought Forest Whitaker was wonderful. And Oprah, my girl, she can act," the President said.