Michael Reagan to Hollywood: Stop Lying on Film About My Dad

Michael Reagan appeared on Fox & Friends to elaborate on his argument that the new film "Lee Daniels' The Butler" reinvents history to make Ronald Reagan a racist.

Fox showed a clip of Jane Fonda's Nancy Reagan telling the butler that she would talk (backward) Ronnie into letting the butler be a guest at a White House state dinner instead of a servant.

MICHAEL REAGAN: What they say about my father trying to make him a racist. I wrote an op-ed piece, "The Butler from Another Planet," because the real Eugene Allen does not even fit Cecil Gaines from the movie....by the way, that racist president made him maitre d’ – moved him up the scale, not down the scale.

When Fox host Steve Doocy asked why Reagan would be mangled like this, Michael Reagan replied, "Welcome to Hollywood, this is their vision of Ronald Reagan. And remember, Ronald Reagan’s been getting a lot of great press lately. People want to see Ronald Reagan return.I think  Hollywood’s answering ‘We don’t want him to return. We want people to remember him the way we want to portray him, not the way he really was.'"

In reviewing the movie, New York Times critic A.O. Scott said the film was more symbolic than historically literal, especially how the butler’s son Louis seems to show up at every historic turn in the civil rights movement: “‘The Butler’ is in every way more of a fable than a biopic.” But how many movie viewers will think these presidential slights are real?

Editor's Note: The image above is a photo of President Reagan signing legislation to institute a federal Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. For Reagan's remarks at the Nov. 2, 1983 signing ceremony, click here.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis