What ‘The Butler’ Gets Wrong About Ronald Reagan And Race

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Based on an article by The Washington Post’s Wil Haygood, adapted for the screen by Danny Strong and directed by Daniels, “The Butler” is the story of Eugene Allen, an inspiring African American who worked under eight presidents in the White House, Reagan among them. As historians of the 40th president, having written more than a dozen biographies between us, we are troubled by the movie’s portrayal of Reagan’s attitudes toward race. We are especially concerned because many Americans readily accept Hollywood depictions of history as factual.

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