Lauren Miller Rogen is a funny lady, but she's pretty damn serious about Alzheimer's.
The actress and screenwriter, who is married to star Seth Rogen, cofounded Hilarity For Charity specifically to raise awareness (and therefore research funding) for the degenerative disease that affected her mother.
Related: Seth Rogen Admits Some Of The Jokes In Superbad Were 'Blatantly Homophobic'!
So when she heard about Will Ferrell starring in an "Alzheimer's comedy," she figured she needed to investigate.
She writes in a poignant new essay:
"I have long advocated that Alzheimer's should be more prominent in movies and TV so that it can be destigmatized and humanized in the same way that cancer and HIV/AIDS have been. In order for Alzheimer's to receive the funding it needs and deserves, it needs to be understood by the millions of people who think memory loss is a normal part of aging (it's not) or even funny (it's definitely not)."
Not wanting to prejudge the material, Lauren tracked down the Black List script, which she thought was actually "well-written" even if it "does not portray the disease in an accurate way."
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But there's something far more troubling, Lauren writes, than the movie. She explains:
"I haven't seen this much Alzheimer's coverage since my husband, Seth Rogen, addressed the Senate three years ago about the need to take action against this disease, and even then, his message took a backseat to the fact that only two of the 16 senators on the panel he was invited to address showed up to hear him speak. Their poor attendance was the focus of the news, not the fact that 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer's, or that the government spends only $900 million on Alzheimer's research…"
Further, Lauren points out where people's outrage should be placed — if they want to help people actually suffering from the disease:
"If you got angry about Will Ferrell's role in a hypothetical movie, I urge you to place that anger back on the fact that Alzheimer's is an epidemic that is still so misunderstood, Hollywood screenwriters are still writing insensitive scripts about it — and that it's still very much underfunded by the government President Ronald Reagan once led. Don't attack #WillFerrell because he considered making a movie from a respected script. Hashtag how f*cked up it is that it takes something like this to get the media to write articles about Alzheimer's and to get Alzheimer's trending. Tweet at your congressman or senators to increase funding and #EndAlz. Tell your story and get it published. Help a loved one who is going through it."
Wise words from someone who is unfortunately more experienced than many with the horrors of Alzheimer's.
You can read the full essay HERE!
[Image via FayesVision/WENN.]
Tags: alzheimers, film flickers, lauren miller rogen, mental health, reagan, seth rogen, will ferrell