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Obama isn’t producing Netflix documentary about impeachment inquiry

October 25, 2019

CLAIM: Former President Barack Obama has signed a $90 million deal with Netflix to produce a documentary about the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The claim began circulating in September following publication of a satirical article in The New Yorker magazine. No such deal has been inked.

THE FACTS: Posts circulating on social media falsely state that Netflix has agreed to pay Obama $90 million to produce a documentary about the ongoing impeachment inquiry of Trump, which was announced by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month.

A Netflix spokesperson confirmed to The Associated Press Wednesday that no such arrangement has been made or is under consideration. A spokeswoman for Obama also confirmed there is no truth to such a deal.

The false posts followed the Sept. 27 Borowitz Report, a satire column published by The New Yorker. According to the column, Obama told reporters production on the series could begin as early as October, in Washington and Kiev. The article includes a smirking picture of Obama and a fabricated quote that credits him as saying, “We’ve already hit the ground running on the script.”

In 2018, Obama and his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, signed a deal with Netflix. Their production company, Higher Ground Productions, in April unveiled a total of seven films and series that would be developed under the deal. Their first documentary, about a glass factory in Ohio owned by a Chinese investor, debuted in August.

Posts on Twitter and Facebook, however, have passed around the claim as real.

“How long exactly has Obama been working on this film?” one Twitter user asked.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/19523071581315