The Butler saw it all
WASHINGTON: A few days after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, The Washington Post published an article about a black butler who served in the White House for 34 years, under eight presidents, from Truman to Reagan.
Eugene Allen represented, as journalist Wil Haygood wrote, “a story from the back pages of history. A figure in the tiniest of print. The man in the kitchen”.
“He was there,” Haygood continued, “while America’s racial history was being remade: Brown v Board of Education, the Little Rock school crisis, the 1963 March on Washington, the cities burning, the civil rights bills, the assassinations.”
Allen undoubtedly lived a fascinating life, meeting countless historical figures during especially polarising times, and it’s not surprising that Haygood’s profile caught the eye of Hollywood.
It is now the basis for Lee Daniels’ The Butler (the director’s name is included thanks to silly copyright claims).
The Butler is just over two hours long, spans several decades, and includes multiple storylines. It’s fair to say it has epic ambitions. – Washington Post