The Obamas' first acquisition for their Netflix deal is the rights to a book that depicts the US as 'under attack by its own leaders'

Business Insider US

  • Under the Obamas' Netflix deal, they have acquired the rights to Michael Lewis' new book, "The Fifth Risk."
  • The book includes an unflattering look at the Trump administration, and its publisher's description references a government "under attack by its own leaders."
  • Conservatives have long been angry at Netflix, but it is unlikely to hurt the company's bottom line.

The Obamas have acquired the rights to Michael Lewis' new book, "The Fifth Risk," as part of their production deal with Netflix to make original TV shows and movies. Lewis confirmed the deal on a Katie Couric podcast, The New York Times reported.

"The Fifth Risk" is critical of Trump and his administration at its very core. Its publisher's description starts with the question, "What are the consequences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it works?," and describes the US government as "under attack by its own leaders."

This choice of a first (publicly confirmed) project will no doubt stoke the ire of conservatives, many of whom have been furious at Netflix for both the Obama deal and the presence of Susan Rice on its board of directors.

A spokesperson for the Obamas' company told The New York Times that the project would not be used to take shots at Trump. It would instead be a "humorous series demystifying the little-known ways in which federal agencies improve our lives and serve our nation, from the food we eat to the planes we travel on."

Regardless of how political it turns out, it is unlikely that it will hurt Netflix's bottom line.

Despite online threats to boycott Netflix for a perceived anti-conservative bias, in an August survey conducted by AlphaHQ for Business Insider, of those surveyed who had once subscribed to Netflix, but then cancelled, only 5% said it was for political reasons.

Netflix declined to comment and an Obama spokesperson told Business Insider that "we are exploring projects but nothing has been green-lit at this stage."

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