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Will the Addition of the Obamas Steer Netflix Leftward?

Will the Addition of the Obamas Steer Netflix Leftward?

Would be a shame if Netflix turned left in an obvious ideological direction.

Online streaming giant Netflix announced Monday its plans to form a “storytelling partnership with Barack and Michelle Obama.”

“President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have entered into a multi-year agreement to produce films and series with Netflix, the world’s leading internet entertainment service,” says Netflix.

The former first couple always fancied themselves part of the Hollywood scene, so the move to production seems a natural fit.

The Obamas will produce a diverse mix of content, including the potential for scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features. These projects will be available to the 125 million member Netflix households in 190 countries.

The Obamas have established Higher Ground Productions as the entity under which they will produce content for Netflix.

“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,” said President Obama. “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.”

“Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others,” said Mrs. Obama. “Netflix’s unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership.”

“Barack and Michelle Obama are among the world’s most respected and highly-recognized public figures and are uniquely positioned to discover and highlight stories of people who make a difference in their communities and strive to change the world for the better,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities.”

The former president and his wife won’t be alone at Netflix. Just a few months ago, Obama administration alum Susan Rice was joined Netflix’s board of directors.

Netflix drives the market in mass streaming products, until very recently, having better content than competitors. Joining forces with Disney helped cement Netflix’s status as streaming giant.

So far, Netflix has done an ok job of staying somewhat message neutral. Their preachy original shows (i.e. GLOW and Cable Girls) and the awful drama 13 Reasons Why, a coming of age (sort of?) story seeping with victimhood and blame are mostly offset by several original movies by Adam Sandler, a not-so-secret Hollywood conservative. Mostly.

However, the Obamas were hyper-partisans in governance, both being true believers in the progressive cause. I’m not sure how they’ll manage objectivity in film-making but hope there’s some force to rein them back towards the center.

There’s already a deficit of apolitical entertainment in this country. Would be a shame if Netflix turned left in an obvious ideological direction.


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Members of my family with Netflix subscriptions are already cancelling.

    Lewfarge in reply to gospace. | May 21, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    I have only had trial subscriptions in the past but it is now a definite NEVER EVER !

    C. Lashown in reply to gospace. | May 21, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    YES! I cancelled my subscription at about 3pm after reading the article on “The Hill”. I just don’t have enough negative things to say about this…and Obama sits there smirking, like the cat who ate the canary.

    He’s not alone though, there are thousands of people just like him who truly HATE American patriots and the conservative movement. Their pleasure at any pain caused America reminds me of the Palestinians passing out sweet treats on 9/11.

    snopercod in reply to gospace. | May 22, 2018 at 6:59 am

    I’m considering doing the same. The wife and I have already watched the good stuff and what’s left isn’t worth watching.

Would be a shame if Netflix turned left in an obvious ideological direction.

I’d guess that there’s no doubt about it. Robert Conquest’s Second Law of Politics applies here, as everywhere.

Conquest’s Laws are almost as instructive as Lord Acton’s aphorism about power and corruption.

    rabidfox in reply to tom_swift. | May 22, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    “Turned left”?! They’ve been lefty for quite some time now. They’ll just be more obvious about it now.

Watched this show for eight seasons. Wasn’t impressed.

They learned nothing from Air America. I doubt that even liberals will watch this stuff.

Anyon watching The Punisher on Netflix could tell you it’s already taken the Left path. It’s chock full o’ Leftie criticism of the NRA, all while wearing their hypocrisy on their sleeve with the title character.

    healthguyfsu in reply to MrSatyre. | May 21, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    Not just the punisher but all the marvel shows (but marvel is ultra left anyways, both of the big comic outlets are).

    The real kicker for me was when netflix paid to make “Dear White People” original content. That preceded almost all of the marvel shows except daredevil.

Ohhh, that’s just nasty.

The subject matter for the first documentary should be government corruption. Obama can report from first hand experience.

Gotta watch a few remaining Longmire episodes before I cancel!

I dropped them when they hired Susan Rice.

“Why are you cancelling?” “Susan Rice.”

Now half the country is going to drop Netflix.

Netflix has been drifting leftward with every passing month.
Seriously considering canceling now that Barack and Michele are going to be developing shows…

    C. Lashown in reply to HamiltonNJ. | May 21, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    There seems to be a coordinated effort to push, pull or whip the nation into a leftest mindset. The censorship of the social platforms, the solid wall of bias in the MSM, the sports and Hollywood agenda pushing liberalism and now Netflix with their old stale content and “New” programing. America doesn’t have to worry about a 2nd civil war, the American conservative movement is just going to wither on the vine from lack of input.

    I doubt President Trump will seek another 4 years of this uprising of leftism, it certainly doesn’t take a weatherman to tell which way the wind is blowing. He’s had his victories, but seems unable to gather the power brokers together to win ‘bigly’.

      Shane in reply to C. Lashown. | May 21, 2018 at 9:01 pm

      Just remember at one point we had WPA. We made it back from that abyss we will make it through this one.

      CincyJan in reply to C. Lashown. | May 21, 2018 at 10:26 pm

      I laughed when I heard he was running. Why in the world would a billionair with the world by the tail get involved in the mess of Wasington politics? But he did and he won. I am furious at the Freedom Caucus for having blocked the attempt to amend Obamacare; I’m disgusted with the Republican status quo, who are inca[pable of defending us or coming up with a Republican plan. Pretty much, I’m sick of Washington. A mindless electorate deserved 8 years of Obama. And I would bet there’s another empty suit on the way.

    MathMom in reply to HamiltonNJ. | May 22, 2018 at 8:42 am

    You can do it! I cancelled after the hiring of Susan Rice, the Liar of Benghazi. I used to stream Netflix shows by the hour as I worked around the house. The shocking thing is that I just don’t miss it.

    I liked it for movies more than their original content, and as they morphed from a place to find a movie into whatever it is now, I became less satisfied with them in general. But in particular, and the reason to leave, was Susan Rice. I only wish I had waited so I could vote with my feet today!

    I started listening to audio books, and I have only two ears and 24 hours in a day – the audio books are better than Netflix.

Can’t wait for the Sean Penn and Oliver Stone Show featuring Nicolas Maduro.

G. de La Hoya | May 21, 2018 at 7:45 pm

Netflix has been left leaning for years. I can just imagine the Obamas being a sitcom. I can just picture Barack as the bumbling, doofus, nerd in his mom jeans and bicycle helmet. A laugh a minute 🙂

Episode 3

I am in an odd position on this. I totally agree that the drift is happening. That said, sometimes encapsulated in the drift are some nuggets of value. I will be appearing in the Netflix documentary called The Bleeding Edge (released at this year’s Tribeca) which deals with the problem of appropriate oversight of medical device approval. It is a real issue. This has placed me into the proverbial stranger in a strange land mode, but because patient safety and efficacy issues are real…it is a place to start.

    Shane in reply to alaskabob. | May 21, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    I have seen your many posts here bob and would NEVER call you a progressive, but as much as it seems like it helps people government oversight in any form is corruptible and completely devastating to the thing being overseen. I am sure the documentary appeals to the senses of the left (make sure people don’t make bad decisions) and that is why Netflix picked it up.

    I would like to watch the documentary to see the points being made unfortunately I would rather slide down a rusty razor blade on my balls than to ever give money to Netflix.

    Perhaps another avenue will be available for me to see it at some later time. 🙂

      alaskabob in reply to Shane. | May 21, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      Understand. It will probably be out in July 2018 in case you find a good Scotch and enough of it to numb of blade’s edge (pun intended). I do find the “us always good, you always bad” self-righteous mindset ridiculous. There are always unintended consequences with the introduction of new medical discoveries and devices, but when the shortcomings are uncovered and not addressed or mitigated then they become intended consequences. We are talking billions of dollars in sales here and major conflicts of interest that can color one’s decisions…. on any part of the political spectrum. What we are looking into potentially involves about 5-10 million patients worldwide and all we ask is for greater study of the issue. Potential fallout would be in the billions of dollars.

        redc1c4 in reply to alaskabob. | May 22, 2018 at 4:08 am

        medical device approval, as with medication approval, is a nightmare here in the US.

        too many bureaucrats, too many politicians, too much government $$$ at stake.

        and you get 1 guess what this household does for a living, and lobbying ain’t it.

CatoRenasci | May 21, 2018 at 8:00 pm

Hate to tell you, but Netflix has been leaning left for the past several years. I think I get a broader selection on Amazon Prime and through my cable provider access to HBO, FX, SHOW, STARZ, online.

Dejectedhead | May 21, 2018 at 8:06 pm

My Magic 8-Ball says “Absolutely”

“Higher Ground”?
Why not “Ivory Tower”?

    alaskabob in reply to Exiliado. | May 21, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    High Mound…. The Chicago Machine has eclipsed the Arkansas Gang in the heart and minds of the faithful.

Netflix is MAJOR Left and undoubtedly all the others are too. You have to pick your poison.
I don’t watch any cable news, sitcoms or shows on cable or streaming with any Left bent.
The obamas with Rice are just going to keep me from watching even more
Last year NFL Went, and that was rough. Now NBA. HATE Golden state because they are so antiTrump, what the heck happened to Durant? He was a good guy till he joined them. Curry, can’t stand him. Frail little punk, don’t think he will hold up more than 2 more years. Thought it was hilarious that they went to the AA museum in DC instead of the WH, they were disinvited anyway. That building is a monstrosity, maybe the obamas can film from there, think it would be fitting, and so close that when they come to cuff him , he will be right there! San Antonio, Pop, OMG, don’t get me started, what a pompous a$$..
So I do have college sports left for the most part.

I am doe with them. I have to finish a series I am halfway through. Did Netflix think this out. Alienating half the country is just dumb business.

Netflix doesn’t care about the USA , it’s all about global now and the obamas are according to them America’s forever ambassadors

What a piece of $hit

    Paul in reply to gonzotx. | May 21, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    Yeah, I’m sick and tired of them pushing all the non-English language flicks. They’re supposedly renowned for their recommendation engine but they can’t figure out what languages I speak? Take your “I’m a citizen of the world” and ram it where the sun don’t shine. With sand on it.

      GTL in reply to Paul. | May 22, 2018 at 8:23 am

      Half of our tv viewing time is spent reading the subtitles of South Korean programming. They actually share a lot of Western values, and the Confucian emphasis on the priority of family over the individual is not offensive to me.

    Latus Dextro in reply to gonzotx. | May 22, 2018 at 4:10 am

    The Obamas are worshipped by the Regressive MSM in the UK and the wider Commonwealth, particularly New Zealand and Australia, probably Canada too. Given half a chance they would erect churches of devotional adoration. The Obamas are and remain a bane on rational civilisation with their eco-Marxist globalist ideology.
    “The Obamas will produce a diverse mix of content” ….Absolutely. Diversity is their name and division is their game.
    Dump Netflix as you would spurn a rabid dog
    See: “The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama”

Does any REALLY believe that the Obama’s will have anything to do with the work of preparing a show? They’ll just put their names on the final product like the good little do-nothing but take-credit-for-everything grifters that they are.

    alaskabob in reply to rabidfox. | May 21, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    If you loved the ghosts behind is books you will love the phosts behind this series. TOTUS will always be there to guide the way.

Ever notice how a movie will be a total fault in America but make hundreds of millions overseas?

They can’t get enough of this crap and obamas will be the same.

    C. Lashown in reply to gonzotx. | May 22, 2018 at 2:52 am

    Yes, I have a friend in Indonesia and they can’t understand why I’ve ragged on that dog eating turd for 8 long years. He’s a hero over there…

I cancelled after Michelle Wolf’s performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Yeah, they are headed towards the progressives. My bet is that they are looking for a younger, hipper audience.

Netflix is doing this because the kiddies have been leaving them. Mine moved over to HBO and Google-something a year ago. I will keep my Netflix subscription because they have some shows I want to binge-watch. Those shows will not be ghost-produced on behalf of the Obamas.

For those who haven’t heard, Netflix keeps track of what their subscribers watch. We will know exactly how political this decision is when the “Obama” productions compete in the marketplace with real shows.

My guess is that Barack and Michelle Obama will be as good at hiring people to produce TV shows as they were at practicing law.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Valerie. | May 21, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    Never underestimate the volume of millenial SJW losers in mom’s basement mooching off her netflix password.

    Valerie, you wrote, “For those who haven’t heard, Netflix keeps track of what their subscribers watch.” I’m pretty sure they all do this; that’s why I never watch anything on my “no buy” list on Amazon Prime, etc. I just won’t contribute to the fame / celebrity of hate-filled leftist loons who have gone out of their way to bash, insult, and condemn conservatives, the Tea Party, and our country. Just because I’m not paying doesn’t mean that their viewer numbers don’t matter.

      redc1c4 in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | May 22, 2018 at 4:14 am

      i’ll go you one better: i almost never turn on the vidiot, for anything.

      hell, we’re in mid-May, and, near as i remember, i last watched TV last fall, and that was old movies.

      “Television: a medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done.” Ernie Kovacs

      Valerie in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | May 22, 2018 at 4:16 am

      The point is that viewer numbers do matter.

        Precisely. They contribute to actor bargaining power in getting salaries and to their fame/celebrity, which typically dictates the size of their soapbox. I steer clear of all the ones who are vocal about their disdain for flyover country, etc.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | May 22, 2018 at 8:57 am

      You are paying and voting with your viewing eyes. It may not be a simple one for one exchange of goods and services, but Amazon uses your sub money to license the content…never forget that.

Oh, gross.

Henry Hawkins | May 21, 2018 at 10:52 pm

Netflix has over 4,000 movies and amost 2,000 TV shows in its library, the vast majority of which take no particular ideological position. Their library holds hidden nuggets lost among mostly grade B – or C, or D – fare, lots of which is pure trash. Individual viewers decide what they do and don’t watch. When they signal a new movie or TV show has been added, and it appears to be some liberal hogwash, I don’t watch it. At least…. what…. 90% of Netflix’s library isn’t political or ideological at all? More?

If you’re Netflix and you can sign an ex-president and his wife to pretend to develop shows, you do it for marketing purposes. Obama & Michelle won’t be developing any damn thing. They’ll be lending their names to productions they approve of – for a fee. Netflix gets to pretend the Obamas produced them, which appeals to a good 30-40% of the market.

    Not this market.

    I’ve pondered getting Netflix because they seem to be the only ones who have Columbo. Weird, I know, but I just love that show! Anyway, since I cut the cord several years ago, I’ve been patch-working together a bunch of free streaming channels (plus Amazon Prime, for which I pay), and it’s been great. I just haven’t been able to justify paying for Netflix just to watch ancient Columbo episodes.

      Ro Gal in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | May 22, 2018 at 7:17 am

      Maybe it is on HULU, Crackle or one of those other streaming services? I think it might be on Pluto TV….?

        Thanks, Ro Gal, I’ll look into that! 🙂

        JusticeDelivered in reply to Ro Gal. | May 24, 2018 at 11:13 pm

        People are dumping DVD like crazy because of streaming services. Content providers are maneuvering to to increase their profits through market consolidation.

        Eventually, I think that we will see streaming costs increase.

        For the past five years I have been buying DVD collections, fiver years ago they were selling at about $1 each, today I am buying collections at 20 cents each.

        The reason is to hedge on big streaming price increases. Another reason is that I am looking to move much further from major cities where high speed internet is harder to come by and more expensive.

      columbo is dvd only on netflix now.
      hulu does not stream it.
      amazon prime doesn’t stream it however you can buy the whole dvd set.
      crackle does not have it at all

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | May 22, 2018 at 7:27 pm

      “Uhhh, Miss Slippers, just one more thing….”

Last year we finally ditched our cable company due to their scrupulous business practices (Evil Comcast). Now we’re fine with Amazon, Netflix and YouTube TV live. However, it IS quite a lot of content for our watching pattern so we decided to drop one. Thank you Susan Rice and the Obamas for helping us make that decision so much easier.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Ro Gal. | May 24, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    I could write a book about Comcast’s crooked business practices, that and gross incompetence. Let’s not leave out arrogance.

    In my search for a new home, downsizing for semi retirement, one factor is avoiding Comcast.

nordic_prince | May 22, 2018 at 8:25 am

“When,” not “if.”

Pay your $10 and watch your Netflix until there isn’t anything worth $10 to watch, then cancel it. That simple. Adding crappy content doesn’t detract from their good content, and you don’t have to watch anything to figure out if it’s a bunch of SJW nonsense. That’s what Duck-Duck-Go is for. Netflix didn’t get to where it was by ignoring viewer preferences. Hiring Susan Rice is obviously a concern, but Netflix is a content aggregator, along with being a content creator, and they need friends in the very liberal content world to make the deals they need to remain competitive. Judge them by what they offer you, not by some arbitrary political thermometer. You do that and you’ll soon find that there are no conservative or even libertarian aggregators.

harleycowboy | May 22, 2018 at 11:26 am

I’ve seen so many movies that they all seem to be a remake of one I’ve already seen. I might go to the theater three times a year just because some movies should be seen on the big screen.
Netflix. I’ve got more important things to do other than vegetating on the couch.
A series based upon the Obamas? That will tank faster than Jim Carey’s career.

they already are left. just because some non left org programming done has no bearing on their (as a whole) political leanings.

buckeyeminuteman | May 22, 2018 at 12:38 pm

I used to complain that Netflix had mostly a bunch of old 80s movies that nobody wanted to watch. Now, I want to watch them. And all I can find are “Netflix Original Series” shows about the expanded Marvel universe. I’m getting tired of not finding anything good to watch.

I think they have finally found their calling T.V. Evangelist and haughty wife. The only problem is what if nobody watches his church. It’s not like he still has the power to compel, penalize or coerce fine or punish like Obamacare. In any case he’s no Rev. Ike

Last time I turned on a TV was 9/11. I dug out an old one to see if I could find out what the hell was going on. Had to improvise an antenna, only to find out that nobody on TV knew what was going on, either.

Well, TV’s been going to hell since Bamboo Harvester died—no chance of a “Mr. Ed” revival after that.

Barrack & He/She/It, Think that everything that they udder, is so precous, and nearly a Command, that the America, That they HATE, will swoon & ” Fall In Line.” I think 8 ( Crooked ) years of them is enough. Netflix, just did this to get into the International market. They ran out of material, most Americans are interest ed in a long time ago.

Netflix is dead to me. Oshitbag and the first tranny will never grace a screen in my home.

Got the loot to throw at the Obamas for some virtue signaling, but no money for a season 3 of Marco Polo? F**k off, Netflix.

2nd Ammendment Mother | May 23, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Ever notice you can’t search for Westerns, but there are 6 different ways to search by sexual orientation that’s not straight…. being a practicing homosapien is tough these days.

I just cancelled my subscription. On the page where they asked why?, I just entered one word: Obama