White House’s first African-American chief usher praises ‘The Butler’


After 36 years in the Coast Guard, Rear Admiral Stephen Rochon became the first African-American chief usher at the White House. Little did he know that his experience would lead to him being a consultant for a big-time Hollywood movie.

Rochon advised director Lee Daniels for his box office hit, The Butler. The movie offers glimpses of history through the eyes of White House steward, Eugene Allen. Rochon lauded the movie on Weekends with Alex Witt and said, “Eugene Allen was a very humble man.  Very distinguished, a patriot, and so the movie really nailed it quite well.”

Rochon commended the young actor who portrayed him in the movie, but said, “I wish that I could look that young!”

The former usher and director of the executive residence also offered his unique insights on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the calls to action to move forward in terms of the civil rights movement. He said the anniversary of the March on Washington “certainly says that we’ve gone a long way, but we still have a ways to go.  And so that we have to keep that dream alive.”

White House's first African-American chief usher praises 'The Butler'