Macklemore, Obama Talk Drug Addiction in MTV Documentary

MTV is launching a documentary unit called MTV Docs, and the network’s first one-hour documentary will see Macklemore interviewing President Obama in Prescription for Change: Ending America’s Opioid Crisis.

The show, which will feature President Obama and the Seattle-based singer sharing personal stories about substance abuse, is set to premiere worldwide at the White House on Tuesday and on MTV next Tuesday at 9 p.m.

“The centerpiece of the doc is a frank conversation between Grammy-Award winning artist Macklemore and President Barack Obama, in which the two openly share their own experiences with substance use as they discuss the scourge and stigma of addiction,” MTV said in a statement. “‘Prescription for Change’ also highlights the societal forces that have contributed to the opioid crisis, as it follows the journeys of three young women in recovery.”

The Grammy-winning artist, who is also listed as an executive producer for the documentary, said the project will help shine a spotlight on “some of the things we need to do to address this epidemic.”

“I’m one of millions of Americans who has struggled with addiction and abused pain killers, and if it weren’t for treatment and recovery I wouldn’t be here today,” Macklemore said in the statement.

The Prescription for Change world premiere coincides with the White House’s “South by South Lawn” festival, which held its Leonardo DiCaprio-hosted climate change event on Monday. MTV News’ senior political correspondent Ana Marie Cox is also expected to moderate a discussion with Macklemore and National Drug Control Policy director Michael Botticelli.

Macklemore tweeted to his nearly three million followers about Tuesday’s event:

The release of MTV’s new documentary marks the second time that Macklemore and Obama have teamed up to tackle drug abuse in America.

In May, the pair joined forces for Obama’s weekly address, where Macklemore “opened up about his own experience, his life in recovery, and the loss of a friend who overdosed on prescription drugs at a young age”:

Along with Prescription for Change, MTV Docs is prepping two more documentaries this year: Transformation, which will cover transgender youth in Los Angeles and a film that will chronicle electronic music band Major Lazer’s historic concert in Cuba earlier this year.

One network executive said he hopes the documentaries “capture the artists and audiences that inspire MTV.”

“As we continue to push the boundaries of MTV’s storytelling, the importance of providing an open door and blank canvas to creators of all kinds is a top priority,” said Michael Klein, executive vice president of original content. “Macklemore is the first of many we hope to work with to expose real-life struggles and subcultures that impact the audience.”

October is a busy month for Macklemore. He and his producing partner, Ryan Lewis, will be speakers at a private political fundraiser in Seattle, where Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is expected to attend. Tickets for the October 14 event range from $250 to $27,000.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @JeromeEHudson.


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