Many conservatives publicly dropped their subscriptions to the streaming giant Netflix when it was originally announced that the company had partnered with Barack and Michelle Obama to develop new content. Despite the backlash, the working relationship has continued and Netflix has announced the first slate of projects coming from the former president and first lady.
All of the projects sound at least partially political.
There’s “American Factory,” which takes place in a post-industrial Ohio. A Chinese billionaire opens a plant in the struggling town and hires 2000 workers. “Factory” is being directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert.
There is also a scripted anthology series which will be based on the Overlooked column from The New York Times. The series highlights normal people who have quietly lived extraordinary lives.
The drama series “Bloom” is set in the fashion world in post-World War II, and author Michael Lewis is adapting his book “The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy” into a docuseries. Lewis’ book “The Big Short” was previously turned into a left-leaning film by the same name starring Brad Pitt and Steve Carrell.
“The Fifth Risk” is about the transition and political appointments that took place at the start of the Trump administration. The book specifically examines the Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture and Department of Commerce.
Michelle Obama will continue her food-preaching in “Listen to Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents,” a children’s show aimed at preschoolers. The show will aim to teach children about the global nature of their food. “Listen to Your Vegetables” is from creators Jeremy Konner and Erika Thormahlen.
“Crip Camp” also highlights a 1970s summer camp for disabled kids that helped kicked off the disability rights movement.
There is also a feature film of author David W. Blight’s “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in History this year.
The Obamas are producing all of these new projects through their Higher Ground production company. Their goals for the company sound predictably political.
“We created Higher Ground to harness the power of storytelling. That’s why we couldn’t be more excited about these projects,” Barack Obama said in a public statement. “Touching on issues of race and class, democracy and civil rights, and much more, we believe each of these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect, and inspire us all.”
What should be concerning about this relationship between Netflix and the Obamas is that such an opportunity would never be afforded to President Donald Trump. The current president is just as popular — if not, more — than Barack Obama, but can you honestly see Netflix handing Trump a chance to produce whatever content he wants for them after his presidency?
Some of these projects even give Obama the chance to rewrite his presidential history for the millions who are subscribed to Netflix. “The Fifth Risk” is especially concerning since it essentially boils down to a former president, Barack, using the world’s biggest streaming giant, Netflix, to criticize the current president, Trump. It’s biased and unneeded content.
While some may shrug off the Obamas teaming up with Netflix to tell political stories, it’s important to note that the former president and first lady are entering an industry where liberal messaging often dominates conservative messaging.
“We [conservatives] are behind the eight ball in the media game. I am sick of expressing this to republicans,” tweeted outspoken conservative musician Kaya Jones in reaction to the announcement of the upcoming Obama-produced projects.
Others were just as concerned about the Obamas entering the Netflix game.
“Cancelling Netflix. I just threw up in my mouth,” wrote one user.
Another responded, “The shows they announced won’t be hits at all , but they will still rake in their millions……imagine them taking jobs away from REAL Writers and Producers …. that’s what they have done.”
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