Making Sense By Michael Reagan
CBS is planning to produce a mini-series on my father, Ronald Reagan for release in November. I haven't seen the script, which I understand has been leaked around Hollywood and is anything but friendly to my dad.
Nobody from CBS has talked to me or any other member of my family which leads me to believe that whatever the series has to say about the Reagans will be from hearsay, and not from family members.
The problem with being a member of my family was best expressed by my mother, Jane Wyman. She said that the problem for us is that when we have an argument in our family, as all families do, it's like having it inside a bass drum, everybody hears about it.
And then the media takes those arguments that happen in our family as they happen in all families, and try to make a big deal about it. It's as if they believe we should be the prefect family, that we should never have any problems, never have any arguments, but should think alike, walk alike, talk alike and just be alike. But we are not.
Some of us were born in the 40s, others were born in the 50s, some were born in 1911 -- different time periods, different periods of life, different attitudes, and different belief systems. Some of us are conservatives, some are liberals, we have pro-lifers, we have pro-choicers, but somehow America is obsessed with the idea that we don't think alike and so when there's a problem between Patti and Nancy, or me and Nancy or Patti and dad, or Ron and Nancy, or Maureen and me -- the kind of thing that happens in every family -- it's a big deal. I fear that Hollywood will show any family spats in a negative light, claiming that unlike other families we don't get along, when in reality it's the kind of thing that's common to all families.
I'll admit that there are some crazy and wild things that go on in our family. Nancy, for example believes that before you visit you should call and make an appointment, as if you were going to the dentist or the doctor. It's crazy, but that's what she does. That's the way she is. Do I think it's nuts? Sure.
But it's nothing to get all riled up about -- I still see my dad. I just have to do it by appointment. So what? But Hollywood would take that and make it look as if the American Civil War was being re-enacted by the Reagans every time one of us wants to see my father.
I fully expect this miniseries will be largely unfavorable to my dad. Hollywood has never warmed up to him, even when he was going to bat for them as president of the Screen Actor's Guild and won the right for actors to get residual payments when their movies were rerun -- a right he refused to give to himself because he thought that this would be a conflict of interest. So his movies alone are exempt from residuals.
Moreover, not once -- ever -- did Hollywood even think about giving my dad an award in recognition of his many services to the film industry and the people who work in it. So I wouldn't expect them to do a positive miniseries about somebody who gave them residuals so they could take the summers off.
Hollywood has been hijacked by the liberal left. When people watch this miniseries they need to recognize they are watching a typical American family, with all its virtues and all of its faults.
Finally, it does not matter to me that Barbra Streisand's husband James Brolin is playing the part of my dad. What does matter is who writes the script and who directs the series. All Brolin can do is read the lines the writer has written, and follow the orders of the director.
Aside from that, I'm glad that Brolin has found a job. It gets him out of the house and gives him something to do. Once again Ronald Reagan has found work for someone in Hollywood.
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