Ronald Reagan Alzheimer's

‘Nothing Funny About Alzheimer’s’: Ronald Reagan’s Children Blast Will Ferrell For Making Comedy About Their Father’s Struggles

The children of former president Ronald Reagan are lashing out against comedian Will Ferrell for agreeing to produce a comedy about their father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The movie, simply titled Reagan, is a comedy that reportedly follows President Ronald Reagan as he begins suffering from dementia in his second term of presidency. In the movie, an intern is charged with making the Alzheimer-stricken president believe he is an actor playing the president so that he can continue running the country. However, the children of the former president say that Alzheimer’s is no laughing matter and that Ferrell should be ashamed for agreeing to such a film.

The Daily Mail reports that former president Ronald Reagan’s children are outraged over a new comedy movie about their father’s battle with dementia. Michael Reagan took to Twitter to voice his concern over the movie noting that “Alzheimer’s is not a joke.”

He continued his attacks on the movie informing Ferrell that Alzheimer’s robs you of your memories before eventually killing you, none of which he finds funny.

It wasn’t just Ronald Reagan’s son who decried the film. Patty Davis, Reagan’s daughter, also voiced her concerns about the film telling Will Ferrell that “perhaps if he knew more” about the disease he would “not find the subject humorous.” Davis wrote an open letter to Will Ferrell on her official website asking the comedian to consider the toll Alzheimer’s takes on its victim as well as their loved ones. She recalls the moments she was forced to stand by and watch her father slowly fall into dementia. A feeling she described as complete helplessness.

“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.”

Patti says she now runs a weekly support group called Beyond Alzheimer’s for caregivers and family members of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. She says that she often sees the all-too-familiar look of helplessness in the eyes of other Alzheimer caregivers and remembers her father’s struggles with the disease. She says the unfortunate reality of Alzheimer’s today is that it can’t be cured. Instead, caregivers must stand by and make the best of the time they have with their loved one while they slowly slip away as “the disease will always win in the end.”

“I look into haunted eyes that remind me of my own when my father was ill. I listen to stories of helplessness and loss and am continually moved by the bravery of those who wake up every morning not knowing who their loved one will be that day, or what will be lost. The only certainty with Alzheimer’s is that more will be lost and the disease will always win in the end.”

With the seriousness of the disease and the affects it has on caregivers to those suffering from dementia, Patti Davis says she finds it hard to see anything funny or comedy-worthy in the disease.

What do you think about Will Ferrell producing a comedy movie about Ronald Reagan’s struggle with Alzheimer’s? Is the topic appropriate for a comedy?

[Image via Getty Images/ Hulton Archives]

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