Â To no one’s surprise, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,”Â a film inspired byÂ theÂ life ofÂ Eugene Allen who workedÂ in the White House for 34 years starting as a “pantry man” in 1952 and rising to the position of head butler and MaÃ®tre d’hÃ´telÂ until he retired in 1986, opened to wide acclaim last week although that expected acclaim was tarnished by allegations the movie is filled with radical misrepresentations and wild distortions of historical fact–Â and by low ratings and mediocre reviews on IMDb.com.
Of course, none of those negatives will influence Hollywood when it comes time next year for Oscar nominations.Â After all, “The Butler” stars Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitacre and who is more worthy of an Academy Award no matter the quality of the film?
ToÂ his great credit,Â Korean War veteran and owner of the MoviePalace and Showtime Cinemas in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Ike Boutwell, refuses to run â€œThe Butlerâ€ not because it isn’t a very good film or because of its distortions but due to its featuring Hanoi Jane Fonda pretending to be Nancy Reagan.Â In fact, over the course ofÂ the 30+Â years he has owned the MoviePalace, he has never shown a single movie with Jane Fonda in the cast.Â Â Ike should be awarded the Medal of Freedom for his unflinching sense ofÂ patriotism!
On the other hand, “The Butler” may deserveÂ the award for 2013′s “Most Unhistorical Historical Drama.”
According to the Hoover Institution, the real Eugene Allen–as contrasted with Tinseltown’s version, Cecil Gaines–Â grew up in segregated Virginia but “unlike the ["Butler's] fictional Cecil Gaines, he did not watch the boss rape his mother on a Georgia farm, only to shoot a bullet through his fatherâ€™s head as he starts to protest the incident.”Â Allen was married to the same woman for 65 years, had one son who served in Vietnam, Nancy Reagan invitedÂ him and his wife to a state dinner as guests, and when he retired, the Washington Post reported that â€œPresident Reagan wrote him a sweet note. Nancy Reagan hugged him, tight.â€
Also, Allen was never arrested, neitherÂ he nor hisÂ son ever became civil rights activists,Â his sonÂ didn’t help found the Black Panthers, his wife Gloria wasn’t an alcoholicÂ who had an affair with a neighbor, he was invited to that state dinner as an honored guest not for show purposes, and heÂ retired from White House service during Reagan’s tenure long before Barack Hussein Obama entered the Oval Office because of his advancing age and not because of any political protest.
Considering “The Butler’s” ensemble of Hollywood stars, principal writer Danny Strong,Â and direction by “Precious’ ” Lee Daniels, it’s not surprising that the future Oscar nominee depicts Republicans as predominantly stupid, angry, racistÂ white peopleÂ or that Eugene Allen’s movie persona has the audacity toÂ discuss civil rights withÂ President Reagan, a scenario as absurd asÂ Allen’s arrest and all the other distortions about his very honorable life.
The most unfortunate aspect of “The Butler” is that it effectively trashes Allen’s life in the interests of producing a blatantly political film filled with black racist propaganda designed toÂ accomplish I’m not sure what.Â Maybe to induce Americans to forget the epidemic of black violence in America by diverting our attention?