Netflix solidified its reputation as a liberal entertainment powerhouse with the announcement Monday that former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama have signed on to produce a raft of new programming for the content conduit under their Higher Ground Productions shingle, and some conservative consumers aren't happy about it.
The Obamas inked their deal with the left-leaning streaming juggernaut to produce an array of exclusive content nearly two months after the company announced that former national security adviser and U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice joined its board of directors.
“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,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities.”
Netflix appeared to shun conservatives again with a politically charged decision to bring in yet another left-of-center viewpoint, not mention that Obama appeared as David Letterman’s first guest on his Netflix series “My Guest Needs No Introduction,” where the retired talk show host threw Obama softballs about his presidency. The president was also featured on the Netflix documentary entitled “Barry.”
Philip Wegmann of the Washington Examiner went as far as calling the new deal a kickback by Netflix for Obama’s net neutrality law.
“Here's what's notable: Obama, as president, defended the bottom line of the streaming service by supporting net neutrality for eight years,” he wrote. “Now the streaming service is rewarding Obama with a sweet deal. Call it Netflix kickback.”
The announcement ignited the #BoycottNetflix and #CancelNetflix trending topics, where Twitter users used the platform to slam Netflix over its announcement it was bringing on the Obamas.
The streaming service recently tried a talk show featuring anti-Trump comedian Chelsea Handler called “Chelsea” that lasted only two seasons before getting canceled, while “House of Cards” was often attacked for being too-left leaning. Russ Roberts wrote in Politico early in that show's tenure "[T]he real reason they made Underwood a Democrat, I think, is a little stranger and a little darker. And it comes with a lesson for Republicans. I think [show creator Beau] Willimon made Underwood a Democrat because he wanted us to like him."
So where’s the programming that the right-leaning viewers can enjoy? You’ll have to go digging for documentaries like “Get Me Roger Stone” or “Trump: An American Dream.”
(“Last Man Standing” re-runs were aplenty until Netflix pulled the show in late August.)