The Washington Post

"The Butler" made $25 million in its opening weekend, beating "Kick-Ass 2" and a biopic about Steve Jobs. Washington Post reporter Wil Haygood, who wrote the 2008 article the film was based on, told his colleague Michael Cavna "I’m sure that everyone connected creatively with this important movie is ecstatic that American audiences have embraced it with overwhelming passion and vigorous support."

Haygood wrote in July that he "decided to find a man or woman who had lived — and worked inside the White House — at a time when the very idea of a black man in the Oval Office seemed impossible" after covering an Obama rally in 2008.

After weeks of searching, I found Eugene and Helene Allen living by themselves at the end of a quiet street in Washington. I interviewed them. Days later — and just a day before the historic election of 2008 — Helene died in her sleep. The butler, I told [film crew member Kevin] Ladson, went to the polls alone.

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