Lee Daniels' "The Butler," a story about a black man who moved up in society as a butler for eight American presidents, is a paradoxically popular theme at a time in American history when the president himself, Barack Obama, is a black man. Now more problems have arisen for this theme with Reagan biographers hitting "The Butler" as painting an inaccurate portrayal of the 40th president, as reported upon on August 17, 2013, by Filmoria.
"The Butler" movie is based on the memoirs of White House butler, Eugene Allen, an African-American man who served eight Presidents over the span of three decades. The reviews have been mixed with the film being described as as “deeply affecting” and “moving”, with others having called it “smug” and “a mess”. There has been a problem with several Ronald Reagan biographers criticizing the film for what they say is an inaccurate portrayal of the 40th president.
Paul Kengor has claimed some scenes could amount to “Hollywood malpractice” and “ideologically driven fiction.” A primary element of their objections was what they feel was an insinuation that Reagan was racially insensitive and that he was indifferent to apartheid in South Africa.
The Hollywood Reporter has also reported that Reagan biographers have slammed the president's portrayal in "The Butler." Paul Kengor, author of two books about Reagan, "The Crusader and God" and "Ronald Reagan", said, “I’ve talked to many White House staff, cooks, housekeepers, doctors, and Secret Service over the years. They are universal in their love of Ronald Reagan.”
Kengor says that Reagan was appalled by apartheid, but he feared if he was not very cautious with the situation in South Africa at the time, when the apartheid regime collapsed he feared it could have been replaced by a Marxist-totalitarian regime which was allied with Moscow and Cuba during the tense Cold War era.