Obamas face backlash for movie in which character says white people can't be trusted

By Jen Krausz on
 December 13, 2023

A movie produced by the Higher Ground production company owned by Barack and Michelle Obama has led to a backlash against the former first couple due to a mixed-race character who tells her Black father not to trust "white people."

The scene appears in the apocalyptic Netflix film "Leave the World Behind," which chronicles the aftermath of a major cyberattack.

In the movie, the mixed-race family owns a house that is rented to white tenants, and they are forced to ask the tenants if they can take refuge in the property they own.

At one point, the daughter tells her father who is Black, "I'm asking you to remember that if the world falls apart, trust should not be doled out easily to anyone, especially white people — even mom would agree with me on that."

Obama was closely involved

Obama personally consulted on the Sam Esmail film and gave him notes on the script, according to Newsweek.

Esmail told Vanity Fair, "He had a lot [of] notes about the characters and the empathy we would have for them," Esmail told the magazine. "I have to say he is a big movie lover, and he wasn't just giving notes about things that were from his background. He was giving notes as a fan of the book, and he wanted to see a really good film."

“In the original drafts of the script, I definitely pushed things a lot farther than they were in the film, and President Obama, having the experience he does have, was able to ground me a little bit on how things might unfold in reality,” Esmail continued. “I am writing what I think is fiction, for the most part, I’m trying to keep it as true to life as possible, but I’m exaggerating and dramatizing. And to hear an ex-president say you’re off by a few details. ... I thought I was off by a lot! The fact that he said that scared the f*** out of me.”

Apparently, however, Obama didn't see any problem with the line about not trusting white people.

Are you really surprised that Obama thinks it's fine to espouse this philosophy of the world?

Calling foul

Social media users quickly called foul on the scene, exclaiming over how "racist" it is.

"This racist clip from Barack & Michelle Obama's first fiction film on Netflix called: "Leave The World Behind" is about to go viral!" X user Matt Wallace said.

"White people are the only group you’re allowed and celebrated to be racist towards, and it will be put into movies by the most influential people," Libs of TikTok posted on X.

"This is unacceptable," conservative social media figure Liz Churchill wrote. "I would say the same thing if they said this about people of color. How is this okay?"

Podcaster Kyle Becker also said, "If you don’t support hatred against white people, then you’re a racist."

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