Barack and Michelle Obama Named Among Hollywood’s Most Powerful People

Former US president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle walk off the stage at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, October 31, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images

Barack and Michelle Obama have been named for the first time among Hollywood’s most powerful people in the annual 100 list published by The Hollywood Reporter.

The former first couple was listed alongside such entertainment titans (and friends) as Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Bob Iger and Netflix honchos Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos.

The Obama’s signed a lucrative deal with Netflix last year to create and distribute documentaries and other content between the streamer and the couple’s production company, Higher Ground. The documentary American Factory — about a Chinese billionaire who opens a factory in an abandoned General Motors plant in Ohio — debuted on Netflix in August, and was recently nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award.

Other Obama Netflix projects under the partnership include a planned docuseries based on Michael Lewis’ The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, which is critical of President Donald Trump’s administration.

The Hollywood Reporter ranked the Obamas’ in 50th place, just behind Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy. The couple outranked such celebrities as Brad Pitt, Scarlett Johansson, and Kevin Hart.

“Who wouldn’t take their call?” the Reporter said in its ranking of the Obamas, citing the Netflix partnership and a series of podcasts under a new deal with Spotify.

Iger ranked No. 1 in the annual list, with Netflix’s Hastings and Sarandos coming in No. 2 — the same spots they held in last year’s ranking.

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