When the news broke that Will Ferrell, the star of such movies as “Elf” and “The Anchorman” was going to play President Ronald Reagan in a movie in which the man would be depicted as so ravaged by dementia that he had to be fooled into believing that he was playing the president in a movie, the response was sharp and fierce. The idea that Alzheimer’s would ever be a suitable subject for comedy caused anger throughout the media. The fact that Reagan would be the object of abuse also caused eyebrows to be raised along with voices and blood pressure. However, it looks like that in a move to control the damage that has been wrought to an already faltering career, Farrell, who played a buffoonish version of George W, Bush on Saturday Night Live,  has decided to pull out of the project, effectively killing it.

The proverbial straw that broke the back of the dubious project consisted of a tweet by Michael Reagan, the president’s son, and an open letter published by Patti Davis, Reagan’s surviving daughter. Farrell has announced that he is pulling out of the project and is pretending that he was not seriously considering it anyway.

Questions remain over why a movie making fun of the president who won the Cold War and returned prosperity to the United States by depicting him as a dementia addled buffoon was ever seriously considered. The screenplay had won the prestigious “Black List” competition as best liked but unproduced script for 2015. A reading of the screenplay took place with James Brolin as Reagan, John Cho as the intern, Lena Dunham as speechwriter Peggy Noonan, and Nathan Fillion.

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Incidentally, the premise that Reagan was mentally impaired in his second term is sheer fantasy. The second term featured some of the president’s greatest accomplishments, including an arms reduction agreement with the Soviet Union and a landmark tax reform law. Less than a year after Reagan left office, the Berlin Wall fell, signaling the death knell of the Soviet Union, all because of Reagan’s policies. Reagan was not diagnosed with Alzheimer’s until 1994, five years after he left office. When he died ten years later, the event was accompanied by such expressions of grief not seen since the death of John F. Kennedy.

Hollywood has been known as a hothouse for far left political ideology for decades. But the evident hatred of Ronald Reagan, who got his start as a film actor, that the project represents is not only telling, but fraught with irony. That a number of Hollywood players though that such a movie would be a good idea is certainly an indication of how out of touch the entertainment industry is with the audience that it purports to serve.