Barack Obama supports unions but still makes 'working' live streams for Netflix

After the release of Barack And MichelleObama‘s Netflix documentaries Working: What we do all daythe former US President attended one Live stream for the streamer, in which he chatted with director Caroline Suh, two executives, and a service worker who was interviewed on the series. At the start of the event, Obama delivered one of his characteristically charming speeches about supporting the working class and unions – but he refused to acknowledge his implicit support for Netflix despite Netflix being a key figure in the industry Writers Guild of America strike.

Hosted by a radio presenter Ira GlassThe event was streamed live on LinkedIn on Thursday (May 25) from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time. The hour-long talk began with Obama offering platitudes about unions and the current Writers Guild of America strike against studios and streamers, but they were no more substantive than what he had said in the past.

Ahead of the show’s May 17 premiere, Decider criticized the series for its lackluster message about unions, expressed in the first episode when a service worker expresses concern about her job security and is reassured by her union leader that she is protected no matter the changing times.

Following the solemn confession, Obama will appear via voiceover to explain the unions’ story in a rousing speech if it weren’t being delivered on Netflix — a streaming service that’s a central figure in the WGA’s fight for fair wages and protections the boom in streaming entertainment.

While Obama announced the May 16 release of the show wrote in an Instagram caption,
This series is also about making sure we respect everyone’s work – because we all deserve to be valued and treated with respect. That includes the friends I’ve made on this series and everyone else fighting for fair pay and new protections that reflect the changing workplace — including members of the WGA who are currently on strike.”

Then there was radio silence. One might think that given the awkward timing, Obama and the makers behind the docuseries were hoping to sweep the whole thing under the rug, but alas, they did announced On Wednesday (May 24), Obama announced that he would be participating in the Netflix and LinkedIn live stream. The event began with Glass saying to Obama, “So I know before we talk about your TV show you want to say something about the WGA strike – the Writers Guild strike – so why don’t we start there at?”

Photo: Netflix

Obama said, “Part of what this show is Work It’s about how consistent certain things are in work experience. People looking for a satisfying job, people trying to pay their bills… Unfortunately, there are always problems making sure their employers treat them fairly and that they get a fair share of the pie. ”

He continued, “I think what we’ve seen throughout American history is that unions and workers’ organizations have had to make demands from their employers, who control the industry in which they operate, to ensure they are treated fairly and be entertained.” is no exception. My hope would be that at a time of great technological change, where there are big mega corporations that are doing really well, they keep an eye on the creative people who are actually making the product that consumers appreciate and that are exported to all the World.”

Obama went on to share his take on the strike, saying, “I know there are a lot of studios and streamers that are feeling a little squeezed and there’s been a little too much product glut and they’re watching their bottom line.” Pressure from shareholders etc.” He continued, “But the fact of the matter is that if there weren’t writers writing the stories that matter, they wouldn’t exist.”

The former president described himself as “someone who really supports the Writer’s Guild” and said he “believes” in the art of storytelling. “I hope that they will be compensated and that the importance of their work is reflected in the agreement reached. I very much support the writers and the strike and hope they get their fair share of the fruits of their labour,” he concluded.

Photo: Netflix

However, Obama’s words seem like empty promises – and even worse, like a sign of virtue. Given his position of power, he could have kept silent about his new production rather than crossing the picket lines to conduct the live-streamed event. TV writer and producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach criticized Obama on Twitter. Write“President @BarackObama, if you wish to make a statement about the value of work, please do not cross the @wga picket lines to promote a struggling company.” Ph.D. Candidate Matthew Borus reiterated the opinion: tweet the former President: “So you’re crossing a WGA picket line? Talk about work?? Studs would NEVER have done it,” in reference to Studs Terkel, author of the 1974 novel on which Obama based his series.

It’s unfortunate that Obama’s policies seem to falter at such a critical moment in the entertainment world, especially given his rapid switch to television production. A little over a year into his presidency, Barack and Michelle Obama formed Higher Grounds Productions and have continued to partner with Netflix ever since, releasing titles like the Emmy Award-winning series Our great national parks and the children’s program waffles + mochi. And he’s had plenty of time to prepare for the fight against Netflix, as the streamer has been a key figure in the strike from the start. In the first days of the strike, both the LA Times And The New York Times dubbed it the “Netflix strike” and popular band Imagine Dragons performed at a Netflix studio to support strikers during a protest. Are you telling me that Imagine Dragons have stronger politics than Barack Obama???

At this point, Obama’s actions grossly underestimate the work of the pickets, telling Netflix that despite the massive outcry and threats the strike poses to the future of entertainment, they will continue to have his support. What is it man?

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