A cringe-worthy answer to a blatantly biased question. On Monday, Piers Morgan asked Lee Daniels, the director of the new film ‘The Butler,’ if he thought America had become a more racist country since Barack Obama became president. After claiming people were ‘angry’ Obama was president and referencing the Trayvon Martin case, his answer was, “Sadly, yes.”
Daniels’ claim should come as no surprise. His film ‘The Butler,’ which follows the life of Eugene Allen, an African-American butler who served eight presidents, has already been criticized for its portrayal of President Ronald Reagan as racially insensitive. For instance, the film suggests the 40th president was indifferent to suffering under South African apartheid. Reagan biographer Paul Kengor sets this skewed record straight:
(via The Hollywood Reporter)
Ronald Reagan was appalled by apartheid, but also wanted to ensure that if the apartheid regime collapsed in South Africa that it wasn’t replaced by a Marxist-totalitarian regime allied with Moscow and Cuba that would take the South African people down the same road as Ethiopia, Mozambique, and, yes, Cuba.
At another racially tinged scene in the movie, the main character suggests the Reagans are using him as a prop by inviting him to a dinner party, instead of doing so out of friendship.
This leaves another close Reagan confidant to correct the misinformation. As Edwin Meese III, Reagan’s former Attorney General put it,
Ronald Reagan did not have a racially discriminatory bone in his body from his very youngest days," Meese told Newsmax. "He was opposed to any type of discrimination or mistreatment of anyone on the basis of race, or quite frankly any other innate characteristic.
This isn’t the first time ‘The Butler’ has served up controversy. When it was announced ‘Hanoi Jane’ Fonda would be playing Nancy Reagan, justifiably upset veterans insisted they were going to boycott the film.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels offended by Daniels' comments or the movie's misleading character portrayals. We as a country have proven we've overcome our past prejudices, if nothing else, certainly by the fact we chose an African-American as President -- twice.
‘The Butler’ may be getting rave reviews for the stars’ performances, but I give it zero stars for messaging. Watch the director’s comments below, which just might be as controversial as the film itself: