The hosts of ABC’s “The View” clashed on Friday over the upcoming film in which Will Ferrell will play Ronald Reagan as he begins to succumb to Alzheimer’s.
While comedian Joy Behar argued that it’s impossible to judge the film, based on the Black List script written by Mike Rosolio, without having first read the script, her co-hosts disagreed. Guest co-host Sunny Hostin said that her grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s, and that some topics shouldn’t be joked about.
“I’ve had this discussion with Whoopi, and I’ve had this discussion with you, Joy. I just feel that sometimes things should be off limits. Sometimes things are just too soon,” Hostin said.
“He might be making a larger point about the fact that the man was in office with Alzheimer’s,” Behar said. “And that reflects our political system to a tee.”
Reagan’s family has taken issue with the film, which does not yet have a director attached. The president’s daughter Patti Davis blasted Ferrell in an open letter on Thursday, accusing him of trying to make light of her family’s suffering.
“Perhaps you have managed to retain some ignorance about Alzheimer’s and other versions of dementia,” she wrote. “Perhaps if you knew more, you would not find the subject humorous.”
Paula Faris agreed with Hostin, saying that she’s previously had disagreements with Behar over what is and isn’t appropriate to joke about. “I feel like being a comedian just gives you license to be a jerk,” Faris said.
Behar went on to explain that ultimately it’s a comedian’s decision what is and isn’t appropriate to joke about. She said that she makes a point to only take shots at “powerful people.” But at the end of the day, “it depends on how funny it is,” she said.