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Netflix and don’t chill: Obama deal sparks conservative boycott

UPDATED: Thu., May 24, 2018

 (Associated Press)
(Associated Press)
By Levi Sumagaysay (San Jose, Calif.) Mercury News

Now showing on a social media screen near you, a conservative backlash against Netflix over the production deal with the Obamas it announced this week.

That’s right, #BoycottNetflix is trending because conservatives hate the Silicon Valley company’s tie-up with the former president and first lady, Barack and Michelle Obama. Monday, Netflix announced a multiyear “storytelling partnership” that will include films and series produced by Higher Ground Productions, a company created by the Obamas to produce content for the video-streaming giant.

“I will be #boycottnetflix due to there liberal agenda and now signing deal with @POTUS44 @BarackObama,” tweeted someone with the handle @kyle-marshall, whose Twitter bio says he is a “true patriot.”

Some proudly proclaimed on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, plus some right-wing websites, that they have been Netflix subscribers for 10, 12, maybe 15 years but are now canceling their subscriptions.

Others declared that they will now binge on the Bible instead of binge-watching Netflix and supporting the “deep state.”

And some said this is the last straw, coming after Netflix’s appointment of former national security adviser Susan Rice to its board of directors in March. Rice, who also was a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, last served the United States during President Obama’s tenure and also worked for former President Bill Clinton’s administration. Rice has been roundly criticized for her part in the Obama administration’s response to the Benghazi attack.

Rice is the third woman and only African-American person on Netflix’s 11-member board of directors. CEO Reed Hastings, who is also on the board, has spoken out against President Donald Trump and his policies.

Netflix did not return a request for comment Wednesday.

But this story isn’t over, for it is the age of social media. Plus it’s 2018, and America and the world are deeply divided. So of course there is a backlash to the backlash.

“The people who are most likely to call you a snowflake as an insult are running a #BoycottNetflix campaign because they don’t like black people,” said Twitter user @CannibalHoliday.

Others pointed out conservatives had already called for a Netflix boycott after their outrage over comedienne Michelle Wolf, whose jokes about the Trump administration during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner didn’t go over well with the right wing, getting her own weekly talk show on Netflix. That show makes its debut next week.

“So wait – didn’t all the people saying #boycottNetflix over Barack and Michelle #Obama ALREADY #boycottNetflix over Michelle Wolf?. y’all DO understand how a boycott works, right?” tweeted a user named @cargillmichaelj.

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