Their first film: Drumpf: The Secret Wiretaps.
Nah, sounds like the political stuff here will be broadly political rather than explicitly partisan, e.g., global warming and voting rights, plus maybe some feelgood elite-left cultural pap. “The Joy of Composting,” etc.
I’m psyched for a documentary explaining why it makes sense to trust the nuclear promises of a government full of Shiite fanatics.
The former president has told associates that he does not intend to use the new platform to wage a public campaign against his successor in the Oval Office, or to fight against conservative media outlets like Fox News.
Instead, a release from Netflix said the Obamas will produce “scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features” that highlight issues and themes the president pursued during his eight years in office.
“One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix — we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world.”
“Why the Palestinians Are Right” should be a humdinger. Alex Griswold says the whole enterprise sounds like Oprah meets Al Gore and that “you can’t really be both.” You can’t? Oprah-meets-Gore is useful shorthand to describe Obama himself. He was more Oprah as a candidate in 2008, herald and guru of a new age of progress, then more Gore when he got down to the dirty business of governing and his ideology shone through. In fact, the cultural distance between Oprah and the Goracle has diminished in the years since. It was Gore who took on the mantle of progressive environmental guru when he produced “An Inconvenient Truth” and it’s Oprah more recently who’s flirted (lightly) with the idea of governing by running for president in 2020. Thanks partly to O and now partly to his successor, American voters seem to expect the president to be a cultural guru of a sort. Obama’s just getting back to his roots here.
If this news seems familiar, incidentally, it’s because the deal has been in the works for months. Ed wrote about it in March when word leaked that O and Netflix were in “advanced negotiations.” Rumors circulated after the election that Obama might go off and start his own platform, as his proteges have done in launching Crooked Media and (ironically) as Trump himself allegedly planned to do if he lost the election. That’s another commonality between POTUS and his predecessor — as hard as it is to imagine Hillary landing a TV deal somewhere, it feels almost inevitable that Obama would. Being good on camera is arguably his greatest talent and there’s no president since Kennedy whom the media itself has adored as much. It’s unthinkable that a guy who’s still a few years removed from his 60th birthday would spend the next quarter century holed up in an office farting out books every three years. He’s a creature of video and video is now more ubiquitous than it’s ever been, with only greater ubiquity to come. Of course he was going to land at Netflix or one of the broadcast networks or, gulp, Obama TV.
I assume he’ll be narrating the documentaries he cranks out, as it’d be strange to sign one of the two or three most famous people in the world to your media company and then stick him in an exclusively behind-the-scenes role. Eventually he’ll have a talk show on Netflix, not regularly but as opportunities arise to interview various world leaders. That’ll be tricky in that he’ll need to try to keep those conversations Trump-free, both because it’d be bad form for him to attack his successor and because criticism from O would be something Trump could use to rally the right, but it’s inevitable that he’ll end up on camera somehow. Maybe Netflix will start giving him Hitchcockian blink-and-you-missed-it cameos in the new Adam Sandler movies they keep cranking out. Imagine “Billy Madison 2” with Obama as the moderator in the big academic showdown scene.
Oh, as for money, CNN hears that this was a “high 8-figure deal.” That’s a lotta dough to spend on dreary climate-change documentaries. Exit question: Why are righties boycotting Netflix over this? Weren’t they already boycotting after the company put Susan Rice on its board?