Former President Barack Obama unveiled his annual favorite movie list and was brutalized online for his controversial selections. Here’s why…
As part of his annual post-White House tradition of highlighting his favorite films, books, and music of the year, Obama revealed that three of the movies he enjoyed most were his own.
In a Wednesday post on X, formerly Twitter, the ex-president named Rustin, American Symphony and Leave the World Behind as the “three best films” of 2023.
Less than coincidentally, all three films were produced by Higher Ground, the production company he and former first lady Michelle Obama formed in 2018.
Earlier this year, writers and actors went on strike to advocate for better working conditions and protections. It led to important changes that will transform the industry for the better.
Here are some films that reflect their hard work over the last year — including some like… pic.twitter.com/TMH9LeQgsT
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 27, 2023
He began the tweet by noting that Hollywood productions had ground to a halt for months this year, with dual writer/actor strikes that reportedly cost the industry billions of dollars.
“Earlier this year, writers and actors went on strike to advocate for better working conditions and protections. It led to important changes that will transform the industry for the better,” he wrote.
“Here are some films that reflect their hard work over the last year—including some like Rustin, American Symphony, and Leave the World Behind that we were proud to release through @HGMedia. What films did I miss?”
Other movies that made Obama’s best of the rest list included The Holdovers, Blackberry, Oppenheimer, American Fiction, Anatomy of a Fall, Monster, Past Lives, Air, Polite Society, and A Thousand And One.
Obama was called out by Twitter for naming the movies his production company produced as his top three picks.
Joe Russo, who produced Zac Efron’s The Greatest Beer Run Ever, pointed out the former president’s faux pas bluntly.
This meme is years old
— James David Dickson (@downi75) December 28, 2023
“Obama is new to Hollywood, so let’s break it to him lightly — Barack, you don’t put your own movies on your “Best Of” list,” he wrote.
The movie, which starred Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, and Mahershala Ali, spurred controversy with a line that implies white people are not trustworthy, particularly during an apocalypse.
I can't believe Barack Obama made a middle-of-the-road aggressively milquetoast movie list.
— Nickrob (@Nickrob) December 27, 2023
Ali’s character’s daughter cautions her father about metaphorically getting into bed with Roberts and Hawke’s characters during a technology blackout that puts an end to American society.
“I’m asking you to remember that if the world falls apart, trust should not be doled out easily to anyone, especially white people,” she tells him.
Roberts’ character is also portrayed as subtly racist throughout the film, displaying outright distrust for Ali and his daughter, who are black, and repeatedly causing microaggressions against them.
“You know what would make the industry better?” Someone else replied to Obama’s post.
“Less woke, more original screenplays (no need for remakes of Little Mermaid or making James Bond a Jenny) just add a new original heroes/heroines. Less divisive (your flick that I caught a couple of weeks ago) more unifying.”
Barack Obama shares his favorite drone strikes of 2014
— Siddhant Adlakha (@SiddhantAdlakha) December 28, 2023
“I’m glad you put out a boycott list. Makes things easier,” another added.
Others fixated on what crowd pleasing moves of 2023 didn’t make the list.
“How about the Sound of Freedom you commie?” One person suggested.
“Not a Barbie girl in a Barbie world I see,” somebody remarked.
“Leaving Barbie off the list while having Leave the World Behind as a top 3 movie might be the worst thing former US president Barack Obama has ever done,” another user snarked.
“Quick! I need someone to give Obama a copy of Saltburn to add to his silly little list,” one person wrote.
“President Obama you must come clean and admit that you simply did not see enough movies this year to make this list,” someone replied.
“There is no way Ben Affleck’s Air is one of the ten best movies of the year. the American people deserve better.”
Obama made a late addition to his recommendations on Thursday, but it wasn’t Barbie.
“Update: I just saw The Color Purple and loved it. I’m adding it to this list as one of my favorite movies of the year,” he posted.