Former President Barack Obama is negotiating a deal to produce a series of original shows for global streaming giant Netflix, according to a New York Times report.
The deal, according to the Times, is not yet final and would reportedly include former first lady Michelle Obama.
“Netflix would pay Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, for exclusive content that would be available only on the streaming service, which has nearly 118 million subscribers around the world. The number of episodes and the formats for the shows have not been decided,” the outlet reported.
Under the proposed deal, the former president “does not intend to use his Netflix shows to directly respond to President Trump or conservative critics,” instead the original content would focus on highlighting inspirational stories from Obama’s time in office.
Interestingly enough, “the Netflix deal, while not a direct answer to Fox News or Breitbart.com, would give Mr. Obama an unfiltered method of communication with the public similar to the audiences he already reaches through social media, with 101 million Twitter followers and 55 million people who have liked his Facebook page,” the Times reports.
But Obama has gone out of his way to acknowledge Breitbart’s influence, most recently, during the 2016 election cycle.
Obama told an audience of activists at his Foundation Summit in Chicago last November that “Breitbart did something pretty interesting. Now, they didn’t create a whole new platform but they did shift the entire media narrative in a different direction — in a powerful direction.”
“President and Mrs. Obama have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire,” Eric Schultz, a senior adviser to the former president, told the Times. “Throughout their lives, they have lifted up stories of people whose efforts to make a difference are quietly changing the world for the better. As they consider their future personal plans, they continue to explore new ways to help others tell and share their stories.”
The move, assuming a deal is done, would be unprecedented as most former presidents spend their post-White House years devoted to charity and fundraising for their libraries and other philanthropic interests.
But Obama — who recently appeared on Netflix’s David Letterman-hosted talk show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction — has, bucking a trend set by his predecessors, publicly voiced his opinions about the policy agenda of President Donald Trump.
Now it seems the former president may be attempting to change the media narrative using Netflix to explore political issues that dominated his presidency — from health care to immigration, foreign policy, and climate change — on many of which, President Trump has undone or rolled back.
Read the full Times report here.
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