The son of the man whose White House duties inspired Lee Daniels’ The Butler, says his father liked all the presidents he served.
That directly contradicts the narrative established by Butler screenwriter Danny Strong of Game Change fame. Strong’s script has the titular butler (Forest Whitaker) aghast at President Ronald Reagan’s stance on both civil rights and Apartheid in South Africa.
That distrust plays a key role in the movie’s final act, but Charles Allen says his father held no animosity toward any of the presidents he served.
People would ask him, ‘Who was your favorite president?’ And he would say, ‘Well I liked all of them.’ And he really did. …And those feelings were reciprocated,” Allen said. “Mrs. [Betty] Ford was an absolute sweetheart. I mean, she used to call my father on his birthday and wish him happy birthday. He and Mr. Ford shared the same birthday.
President Gerald Ford does not factor into the movie’s plot.