Patti Davis, daughter of former President Ronald Reagan, penned an open letter to comic actor Will Ferrell on Thursday, urging him not to make fun of her father's battle with Alzheimer's disease in an upcoming movie
that was announced on Wednesday.
In the letter, published Thursday at The Daily Beast,
Davis details the pain both Reagan and his family endured as he slowly lost his memories and connection to friends and loved ones.
"Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities," Davis told Ferrell. "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."
Alzheimer’s doesn’t discriminate, Davis said, between a president of the United States or a dockworker.
"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," Davis writes. "There was laughter in those years, but there was never humor."
Reagan's son Michael Reagan was equally unhappy with the news, noting on Twitter that Alzheimer's is not a comedy.
The feature-length film "Reagan" was reported on by Variety on Wednesday. Ferrell is producer and is set to star as Reagan in the film which focuses on a White House intern tasked with convincing Reagan, a former actor, that he is playing the role of president of the United States for a movie.
The script is by Mike Rosolio. Both Rosolio and Farrell are known for comedy, but the Internet Movie Database listing for the film on Wednesday said it was a "drama." The site on Thursday no longer categorized the film, and the page for the film can now be seen only by IMDb pro access members.
Since it is listed as "in development," details could change, the website noted.
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