Republican’s approval of the internet streaming giant Netflix has dropped amid the company’s recent embrace of Susan Rice and Barack Obama, according to polling data obtained by Variety.
A survey by the research firm YouGov found that Netflix’s positive impression rating with Republicans fell by 16 percent since the beginning of 2018. Meanwhile, the company’s positive impression rating with Democrats has risen by 15 percent in the same period.
While Netflix maintains strong overall approval ratings from the American public, data shows that on a general perception scale of -100 to 100 the company scores 62.8 among Democrats and 41.8 percent among Republicans as of May 31.
The fall in approval comes amid the company’s announcing a “multi-year agreement” with Barack and Michelle Obama to help produce films and series for the platform — a mega-deal that was reportedly brokered by former Obama official and campaign fundraiser Ted Sarandos, who’s now Netflix’s chief content officer.
Sarandos recently downplayed claims of political bias, stating that it is “not The Obama Network” and there is “no political slant” to programming.
In March, Netflix also appointed Obama’s former national security adviser Susan Rice to its board of directors. The California-based company also produced over a hundred episodes of late-night talk show content for left-wing comedian Chelsea Handler, whose show was canceled last October. Comedian Michelle Wolf’s Netflix talk show has taken on the Trump-bashing role that Handler’s show once owned.
Rice’s appointment sparked a backlash from those critical of her controversial role in American foreign policy — most notedly reports that it was Rice who ordered the government surveillance of President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
According to estimates, Netflix is now more valuable than both Disney and Comcast and is the second most popular television network in the United States.