People online threaten to boycott Netflix after Obamas sign deal with the streaming service
Barack and Michelle Obama have signed a deal with Netflix to produce films and documentaries, but the announcement has led many people online to threaten to cancel their subscriptions, with a boycott Netflix hashtag trending.
In a Netflix press release, it was announced that the former US president and former first lady would develop ideas for potential shows on the service, including "scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features".
The couple, who have kept a relatively low profile since leaving office to make way for President Donald Trump, have established a company named Higher Ground Productions to manage the project.
In the Netflix press release, Barack spoke of his excitement at the project, stating: "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's why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix – we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world."
Michelle also commented, praising the TV streaming giant's "unparalleled service", and saying: "Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others. Netflix's unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership."
However, the new partnership didn't please everyone, with many people online naming the move a "liberal takeover" and insisting they would take their TV watching elsewhere.
"I thought I noticed Netflix pushing more and more left wing stuff.. Now they sign The Obama’s to a contract. So after swoop dog and letterman and now this.. I’m done!!!
#BoycottNetflix", wrote Twitter user @sparkyferrell.
User @ChiefRiverWind also wrote: "After over a decade of loyal subscription I am out. Signing the Obama's as producers was a huge mistake. Way to sell out to liberal media. Boycott
In the announcement, Netflix added that the Obamas would "produce a diverse mix of content – including docu-series, documentaries and features". The news does not come as a complete surprise, as the New York Times newspaper had previously reported that the American politician was in talks to develop shows "that highlight inspirational stories", rather than attacking conservatives or criticising Donald Trump.
"Barack and Michelle Obama are among the world’s most respected and highly recognised 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," said Netflix chief content officer, Ted Sarandos. He added: "We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities."
The streaming service, which currently has 125 million memberships in over 190 countries across the world, is reportedly spending billions of dollars on original content, including TV series like The Crown, Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things.