[Updated] The Reagan Family Has Legitimate Issues With Will Ferrell’s New Ronald Reagan Comedy. | Gradient

[Updated] The Reagan family has legitimate issues with Will Ferrell’s new Ronald Reagan comedy.


[Update] Will Ferrell’s reps told Page Six that Ferrell is no longer doing the movie. Smart move.

Some of Will Ferrell’s best laughs have come from his portrayals of bumbling world leaders, so casting him as a funny Ronald Reagan was sort of a given. Making the joke about the Alzheimer’s disease that claimed Reagan’s mind was less obvious, and the Reagan children are pretty upset about it.

“Alzheimer’s is the ultimate pirate, pillaging a person’s life and leaving an empty landscape behind,” wrote the late President’s daughter Patti Davis in an open letter. “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have — I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.”

The planned movie apparently follows the actions of a White House intern who convinces Ferrell’s dementia-ridden Reagan that he’s actually pretending to be the President in a movie. The movie’s script was put on Hollywood’s “Black List”—an annual catalog of the best unproduced scripts on the market—and picked up some heat after a live reading from Lena Dunham and John Cho.

“For ten long years he drifted — past the memories that marked his life, past all that was familiar,” Davis’ letter continues. “And mercifully, finally past the fear. There was laughter in those years, but there was never humor.” Reagan passed away in 2004.

The President’s son Michael also addressed the movie over Twitter.

The Black List bump notwithstanding, it’s hard to see how a script based on an idea this blatantly offensive to the community of those struggling with Alzheimer’s disease ever made it into pre-production (although it joins a list of similarly baffling moves Hollywood has made lately, so maybe it’s not that hard to see). The film industry is often propped up as a liberal agenda bogeyman by certain factions of the Right and moves like this play directly into the stereotype.

New Pod Flow: Sounds Good With Branden Harvey “Jason Russell”


Jason is the cofounder of the iconic non-profit Invisible Children which was founded to increase awareness of the horrendous activities of the LRA in Central Africa. Jason was also the director of the iconic Kony 2012 film that took the world by storm. In this two-part interview Jason and Branden talk about what it means to create a movement, what Jason experienced during his breakdown and subsequent recovery, and Jason’s experience in the world of theater.

New Pod Flow: Animalators, “ Aharon Rabinowitz”


Aharon Rabinowitz is the head of marketing for Red Giant based in New York City. During our conversation, we discussed the importance of work life balance, his start as a production intern at Sesame Street and why artist’s feel personally offended when you reject their work.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 040


United gets their cheap on, fake news, and Trump hired who?

New Pod Flow: Scribble & Jam, “Artist Matthew Perryman Jones”


Welcome to Episode IV. This week, Dan spends some time with his favorite singer/songwriter, Matthew Perryman Jones. Matthew and Dan talk about panic attacks, growing up in Atlanta, the way music is informed by pain and suffering and the way music gives freedom.

If you have spent any time watching television in the last decade you have most likely heard one of Mattew’s songs on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill and many others. His insightful writing and voice have drawn comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley, and he is on the short list of songwriters who skillfully weave the deeply philosophical and the vivid utterly human without ever losing sight of either.

To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit MPJmusic.com.

Subscribe on iTunes.

New Pod Flow: Sounds Good With Branden Harvey “Next Steps After the Presidential Election”


Branden sits down with writer and speaker Tyler Huckabee days after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States to talk about empathy, justice, listening, and where we go from here.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 039


Special Election Edition, President Trump to legalized weed and everything in between.

This week we reflect on the election and discuss our strategies for staying sane.

New Pod Flow: Animalators, “Illo


Luca and Ilenia are the founders of Illo, a studio based in Turin, Italy.  During our conversation, we discussed their self-driving video bot named Algo, how Illo was formed and how they’ve crafted a unique office culture.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 038


This week we discuss Beyonce’s night at the CMAs, last minute election plans and how SNL might save us all.

Subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher.

New Pod Flow: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Podcast: Doctor Strange


We appreciate everyone sticking with us through this long hiatus but are planning our return even as we speak, with a bunch of new goodies and an updated format. In the meantime, here’s a brief primer on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange — just so you can go into the movie knowing what you’re getting yourself into.