Actor Will Ferrell has dropped out of “Reagan”, a comedy film based on the former president Ronald Reagan’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease, following backlash.
“The ‘Reagan’ script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered. While it is by no means an ‘Alzheimer’s comedy’ as has been suggested, Mr Ferrell is not pursuing this project,” a representative for the actor, 48, told Page Six in a statement.
The film apparently begins at the start of the then-president’s second term when he has fallen into dementia. An ambitious intern has to convince him that he is playing the president in a movie, according to reports.
The Alzheimer’s Association released a statement on Friday criticizing the movie for trivialising a life-threatening and often heartbreaking illness.
“The Alzheimer’s Association is appalled that anyone would plan to develop a film that satirizes an individual living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia,” the organization said.
The movie’s plotline incensed members of the deceased Reagan’s family.
“There’s nothing funny about Alzheimer’s. It is terrifying for the families of those who suffer from it. They live with the fear (of) what will change next, they have to live with this terror and grief every day,” Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis said.
“This movie is cruel, not just to my father, but to the millions of people who have the disease, and the millions more who care for them and watch them suffer every day,” she added.
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