Did president obama meet eugene allen

Barack Obama 'teared up' watching Oscar-tipped drama The Butler | Film | The Guardian

did president obama meet eugene allen

But The Butler is not really about Eugene Allen; that much is clear from our own crowning triumph: the election of President Obama in Eugene Allen, the real-life White House butler that inspired the hit film, "The Butler," was happy to see President Barack Obama elected as the nation's first black president, his son said. And he really did. And those feelings. House butler Eugene Allen, who served eight presidents between She's just a wonderful actress, so I'm glad they did it." The president also discussed meeting real-life African American members of White House staff.

Jane Fonda plays Nancy Reagan 13 Sep His house is awash with flowers and cards sent by people commiserating with him. There is even a card from Nancy Reagan.

Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)

And somebody else [from his White House days] did too. President Carter, I suggest, trying to think of anyone he served who might be still alive. Allen, after all, was working in the White House as racial history was being made: At first he rarely saw an African American in the White House except in some menial role. But as the years progressed, he would see the occasional black face among those visiting the President in the Oval office.

I ask him for his favourite memories of the White House.

The Butler: the real White House butler interviewed, aged 89 - Telegraph

He looks thoughtful and shakes his head. But I can think of a few of the worst times.

did president obama meet eugene allen

When President Kennedy got shot was a terrible day. The picture shows Jacqueline Kennedy, looking pale and dressed in black but smiling none the less. I was sad to see him go. The morning he left he got the whole staff on the second floor where he lived: Although he has no plans to go out today, he is dressed smartly in pressed suit trousers and a blue-and-white striped shirt.

On every surface and wall are pictures of presidents and their families: Out of the window one can see the twinkling lights and Christmas decorations of the neighbouring homes. I ask if Allen is planning to put up any decorations. It is a historical treasure trove. After being informed by a co-worker of job openings at the White House, he applied. Allen met with Alonzo Fields, a maitre d', who instantly liked him.

This differs from the movie, which finds Eugene Allen's onscreen counterpart, Cecil Gaines Forest Whitakerbeing contacted by the White House and offered the job after a senior White House staffer witnesses Cecil in action at a D.

The invented scene is what then prompts his wife Gloria Gaines Oprah Winfrey to emphatically state, "The White House call him, he didn't call the White House," in a moment of fiction.

Allen worked for 34 years in the White House under eight presidents. He was hired in as a pantry worker and worked his way up to butler after several years. This contrasts the movie, which has Cecil starting to work as a butler immediately.

did president obama meet eugene allen

Induring the Reagan administration, Mr. Allen was promoted to maitre d', the position he held when he retired in Why was Eugene Allen's name changed to Cecil Gaines for the movie? Because this is not the Eugene Allen story. It's not just about him. We were hoping to capture the essence of Eugene Allen, and I think we did. But it's not just about him. It's about several other people I spoke to that worked at the White House as well so that the film would create this universal truth for many people of what that experience was like.

did president obama meet eugene allen

In the The Butler movie, we see Cecil Gaines Forest Whitaker standing before Jackie Kennedy Minka Kellywho is still wearing the blood-stained pink Chanel suit that she was wearing when her husband was shot. In real life, Jackie insisted on wearing the suit for the swearing in of Lyndon B. Kennedy's body back to Washington, D.

did president obama meet eugene allen

When Lady Bird Johnson asked her if she wished to have someone help her change out of her blood-soaked clothes, Jackie replied, "Oh, no I want them to see what they have done to Jack. The Butler true story reveals that Eugene Allen was working in the White House kitchen on the day that President Kennedy was assassinated.

He turned down a personal invitation to President John F. Kennedy's funeral, instead devoting himself in another way, "Somebody had to be at the White House to serve everyone after they came from the funeral," says Eugene. In the movie, the Gaines' youngest son Charlie Elijah Kelley dies in Vietnam, requiring Cecil to maintain his composure and poise while confronting Nixon.

When comparing The Butler movie fiction vs. Is the eldest son in the movie, Louis Gaines, based on a real person? During our research into The Butler true story, we quickly learned that the Louis Gaines character, portrayed by actor David Oyelowo, is entirely fictional, as is the subplot involving the character.

This includes Louis joining the Freedom Riders and the Black Panthers, and the rift that develops between Cecil and his son as a result.

did president obama meet eugene allen

In real life, Eugene and Helene Allen only had one son, not two. Was the real Gloria Gaines an alcoholic? Although this aspect of the character may have provided fodder for Oprah Winfrey to sink her acting chops into, the real Gloria Gains, Helene Allen, was not an alcoholic, nor did she contemplate an extra-marital affair. The Butler movie depicts President Ronald Reagan Alan Rickman stating that he will refuse to impose sanctions against South Africa for its racist policies.

The true story behind The Butler movie reveals that the situation was much more complex than Lee Daniel's film makes it appear. South Africa was the only country on the African continent that held a strong anti-communist position. Reagan's hesitation to issue sanctions arose in part because he did not want to disrupt America's anti-communist alliance with the country, not because he thought apartheid in South Africa was okay.

The Butler: the real White House butler interviewed, aged 89

The sanctions would have also impacted the least affluent in the country first, who were mainly the blacks there. Eugene with President Reagan and Nancy Reagan. In their living room, the Allens displayed several pictures of such moments with the Reagans.

  • Eugene Allen
  • Barack Obama 'teared up' watching Oscar-tipped drama The Butler

First Lady Nancy Reagan stopped by the kitchen to remind him about the dinner. After informing her that he had already selected the China for the evening, she told him that he would not be working but would instead be attending the dinner with his wife Helene as her and President Reagan's guests. In The Butler movie, Cecil Forest Whitaker watches his fellow butlers serve him at the state dinner and realizes he has in fact been wearing a mask over the years to cover up the subservient nature of his job.