Will Ferell has reportedly walked out of a comedy in which he would have portrayed President Ronald Regan suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. The film, Reagan, which was based on Reagan's second term as US president, has been met with major criticism for being insensitive towards people who suffer from dementia.
PageSix, a US-based entertainment news website, reported that Ferell had dropped out of the film on Friday, 29 April. A representative for Ferell told the site the comedian "is not pursuing this project".
The news of the Daddy's Home actor backing out of the Reagan project came following the condemnation from the conservatives and the family members of late President Reagan. Reportedly, the comedy involved Reagan, who was battling from Alzheimer's, being led into the belief that he was an actor playing the US President.
Michael Reagan, son President Reagan, took to Twitter to protest against the comic portrayal of his father in the movie. He wrote : "Alzheimers is not a comedy to the 5 million people who are suffering with the decease [sic], it first robs you of your mind and then it kills you."
His sister Patti Davis too voiced her opinion against the insensitive portrayal, writing, "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."
Although as the Reagan project drew ire, Ferrell has tactfully washed his hands off it. The satire, written by National Lampoon's Lemmings writer Mike Rosolio, was featured in the Black List – a chart of unproduced screenplays which have circulated in Hollywood during the past year. Hollywood agents and producers vote on which scripts should feature on the Black List. In the US filmmaking industry, the Black List is seen as a showcase for new screenwriting talent.