Zadan and Meron's Reagans script raises right-wing ire

BY Advocate.com Editors

October 22 2003 12:00 AM ET

After obtaining the script for The Reagans--the upcoming miniseries starring James Brolin and Judy Davis and executive-produced by out executives Craig Zadan and Neil Meron--The New York Times published a long piece Monday in which conservatives expressed fear that the two-part CBS sweeps miniseries will portray Reagan negatively.

"I fully expect this miniseries will be largely unfavorable to my dad," Michael Reagan, a radio talk-show host who reaches 2 million people each week, wrote recently in a column posted on various Web sites. Reagan tells the Times, "Hollywood has been hijacked by the liberal left."

CBS officials and the filmmakers counter that the miniseries will ultimately be judged as fair when it is shown on November 16 and November 18. "This was very important for me, to document everything and give a very fair point of view," said Leslie Moonves, CBS chairman.

According to the Times, The Reagans "gives Mr. Reagan most of the credit for ending the Cold War and paints him as an exceptionally gifted politician and a moral man who stuck to his beliefs, often against his advisers' urgings. But there is no mention of the economic recovery or the creation of wealth during his administration, key accomplishments to his supporters. Nor does it show him delivering the nation from the malaise of the Jimmy Carter years, as his supporters say he did. The details the producers do choose to stress--like Mr. Reagan's moments of forgetfulness, his supposed opinions on AIDS and gays, his laissez-faire handling of his staff members--often carry a disapproving tone."

Craig Zadan responds, "It's not painted in black and white, but in blacks, whites, and grays, many variations of gray." In fact, the miniseries offers many positive scenes of Reagan as a loyal husband and an effective negotiator with the Soviet Union. The Reagans was approved by lawyers at CBS and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

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