As it stands, there are five living former-presidents. These are Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.
After leaving the White House, each has gone on to do something different. The two Bushs have mostly stayed out of the limelight, occasionally appearing at speaking engagements. Clinton, Carter, and Obama have each poured their time and attention into creating various foundations and charitable causes.
However, Obama’s potential plans go much further than any previous former-president. In addition to his work at the Obama Foundation, the New York Times reports Obama is in talks with Netflix to produce a series of programmes. The deal, if it goes through, would make Obama the first living president to begin a media career after leaving office.
What are Obama’s plans for a Netflix show?
So far, there are no clear details on the exact format of Obama’s Netflix show. There could be one show or multiple, episodic or standalone.
However, according to the Times’ report, Obama’s shows will not be used to respond directly to Donald Trump’s political moves. He also won’t use the platform to openly bash conservative critics.
According to a source who is apparently familiar with the discussions, Obama’s Netflix series will be about shining a light on inspirational subjects. One idea is that Obama could moderate a talk show based around conversations that were of particular relevance to his presidency. This could include health care, voting rights, immigration, foreign policy, and climate change.
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And Barack isn’t the only Obama to be in on the deal. The proposed Netflix arrangement may also include Michelle Obama. One series idea that she would be in charge of would be a documentary series around issues Mrs. Obama championed in the White House, such as nutrition and healthy-living.
The couple could also include other programming, both fictional and non-fictional, within their brand if that programming aligns with their ideology.
What has been said?
So far, neither the Obamas nor Netflix have publicly commented on the story. However, on Thursday, Eric Schultz, a former senior advisor to Mr. Obama told The New York Times:
“President and Mrs. Obama have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire. 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.”
This new deal would mark the latest in a long list of occasions Obama and Netflix’s paths have crossed. Most recently, the former president appeared on Netflix-based talk show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. Speaking with host David Letterman, Obama expressed disdain for biased media dominating the political conversation:
“If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than you are if you are listening to NPR… If I watch Fox News, I wouldn’t vote for me. I would watch it and say, ‘Who is that guy?’”