The Obamas are about enter into your Netflix cue. The New York Times report that Netflix has partnered with Higher Ground Productions, a company created by the former US president and first lady, to produce content for the streaming service. The content that will be produced remains up in the air, as last we heard, the couple was allegedly in talks with Amazon and Apple as well for the production deal.
The scope of the deal appears to be pretty wide with scripted shows, unscripted shows, and documentaries all on the table for consideration though nothing has been confirmed. Despite that range of potential directions, the Times reported that the Obamas are not looking to create an explicitly political brand of content. According to the Times, “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.”
Barack Obama said in a statement announcing the partnership: “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.” That kind of sounds a bit like Oprah’s talk show or the incredibly awkward Zuckerberg tour of the United States, which totally wasn’t for a squashed presidential bid.
The apparent lack of political messaging behind this programming makes us wonder if it will just be middling, cable news slice-of-life stories, but blown out with a Netflix-sized production budget. Perhaps that wouldn’t be so bad and maybe Netflix can convince Barack Obama to appear in their upcoming Fast & Furious animated series. I want it, you want it, and Netflix should make it happen.