“The World” Encroaches
It’s this sort of commentary, articles breaking loose like a flood of effluent over Niagara Falls, that is changing our day-to-day lives and our society with it.
Barack and Michelle Obama to make films for Netflix
(They haven’t done enough damage. They intend to continue until everyone in the world welcomes an evil dictator.)
Former US president and first lady will develop ideas for films and documentaries
Jim Waterson Media editor
Former US president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama said they were excited to ‘partner’ with the streaming giant.
Barack and Michelle Obama have signed a deal with Netflix to produce films and documentaries for the TV streaming giant.
The former US president and first lady will develop ideas for potential shows on service including “scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features”.
“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 the former president 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.”
Barack Obama already has a connection with Netflix, having appeared on a special programme with talkshow host David Letterman.
The Obamas, who have kept a relatively low profile since leaving office, have established a company named Higher Ground Productions to manage the project.
The New York Times has previously reported the former president was in talks to develop shows “that highlight inspirational stories” rather than attacking conservatives or criticising Donald Trump.
Michelle Obama hinted that their programmes would follow this template, saying she and her husband 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”.
It is increasingly able to outbid broadcasters for rights to the top stars while also offering greater creative control to producers than traditional TV stations or movie studios.
“Barack and Michelle Obama are among the world’s most respected and highly recognised 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.”
Arguably, the Obamas were the least liked, most distressing, “UnPresidential couple the United States ever tolerated. They have changed the face of U.S and by extension, World society. They were the two who kick-started the New World Order’s development and it appears nothing will stop them and their kind until society is in chaos and The Christ Jesus returns to put an end to this mind-melting madness.
The Obamas have got a Netflix deal. Now every politician will want one
There’s no bigger soapbox than the streaming giant. But have any other politicians got the charisma to pull it off?
‘The Obamas are exciting people to listen to – and this heralds a new era in the power of television to be political and relevant.’ Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters
Everyone wants a Netflix deal these days, even former presidents. When I heard that Barack and Michelle Obama had signed a deal to produce films and documentaries for the streaming service, I felt conflicted. As a fan of surprising, bold movies, I’m excited – but as an advocate of rewarding film-making expertise, I’m slightly saddened by it. Although as a Netflix subscriber I’m just happy to have something new to watch.
Barack and Michelle Obama to make films for Netflix
It’s not a hard decision to understand from the Obamas’ perspective. What would you rather? Live your life as an ex-something, on one big book tour of triangle sandwiches, starkly-lit conference breakout sessions and state funerals – or sign a megadeal with a streaming giant to make whatever you want? I know what I’d do.
High-level politicians have an intellectual desire to keep shaping the political debate and the Obamas have the opportunity to reach into the living rooms and mobile phones of millions of people across the world to influence them directly. Which has to be more effective than the alternatives. For all the great work that think-tanks have done in the past for leaders on this side of the pond, this takes it to the next level. I’ll be watching with interest to see what the Obamas achieve with documentaries, films and chatshows that have a Netflix-style focus on entertaining.
The move from politics to entertainment is not unique to the Obamas. Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, for example, are popular podcast hosts. Their trailblazing move is unlikely to have influenced the Obamas, but it does show that the way some leaders view the political afterlife is changing, and that they are willing to embrace modern media.
Ed Miliband with his Reasons to be Cheerful podcast co-host, Geoff Lloyd. Photograph: Rory Lindsay
Not only that, but a sizeable chunk of us enjoy it when they do. There’s a politics binge going on out there, and the appetite to be armed with political information is growing. To capitalise on this new-found thirst, politics has to go where the people are – and I’d rather that meant creative endeavours like these instead of eating koala bollocks in the jungle.
This deal could transform the ambitions of future politicians. They’ll all want a Netflix deal, maybe even in office. Prime ministers will change their behaviour according to sophisticated algorithms, trying to appeal to boxset-bingers with weekly cliffhangers at the end of speeches.
Which doesn’t sound too bad. If it catches on, you could even see actors going into politics as a shortcut to a Netflix deal. Imagine that – politics populated by insecure narcissists parroting pre-written lines.
But the truth is that only the Obamas can make a deal like this work. They’re cool, they’re graceful, they’re charismatic, they’re clever – and I’d want to see what they make. They’re exciting people to listen to and this heralds a new era in the power of television to be political and relevant. It’s always been said that politics is showbiz for ugly people, but the Obamas could turn showbiz into politics for sexy people.
- Matt Forde is a political comedian and host of Unspun on the Dave channel. His show Brexit Through the Gift Shop will be playing in Edinburgh in August.
I decried all this and made some predictions in a letter to my elder sister. She wrote back, “What do we do about it?”…. which I thought was dry humor. What can any-ONE do?
Another elder lady once said to me, “God and one are a majority.” Watch and pray. Pray that you may escape all these things.”
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