Lee Daniels’ The Butler is “a bunch of lies,” says Ronald Reagan’s son, particularly in its portrayal of his father. “There you go again, Hollywood,” Michael Reagan wrote on the website Newsmax. “You’ve taken a great story about a real person and real events and twisted it into a bunch of lies. You took the true story of Eugene Allen, the White House butler who served eight presidents from 1952 to 1986, and turned it into a clichéd ‘message movie’.” President Reagan, played by Alan Rickman, is depicted as a racist, his son claimed. “[F]acts 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…[M]y father didn’t see people in colors. He saw them as individual Americans,” Reagan wrote.
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President Obama, on the flip side, keeps giving the movie rave reviews. “I teared up just thinking about not just the butlers who have worked here in the White House, but an entire generation of people who were talented and skilled, but because of Jim Crow, because of discrimination, there was only so far they could go,” he said this week in a radio interview with Tom Joyner and co-host Sybil Wilkes about the movie. “All of the acting was terrific, and I thought Forrest Whitaker was wonderful. And Oprah, my girl, she can act.”