The former First Couple are back in Emmy contention.
Ex-President Obama earned a nomination this morning as Outstanding Narrator for his work on the Netflix documentary series Working: What We Do All Day. The 44th president is the defending champion in that category, after winning in 2022 for narrating the Netflix series Our Great National Parks.
Michelle Obama scored an Emmy nomination of her own as executive producer of The Light We Carry: Michelle Obama & Oprah Winfrey. Recognition for that Netflix project comes in the category Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special. Oprah is nominated for hosting the show. Helping to keep the peace in the Obama household, the former president and first lady won’t be going head to head for Emmys.
The Obamas are no stranger to entertainment industry awards. Michelle Obama has won two Childrens and Family Emmy Awards. And she previously won a Grammy for narrating the audio version of her memoir, Becoming. Barack Obama, meanwhile, has won a couple of Grammy Awards. They are each halfway toward earning coveted EGOT status.
The Obamas also were involved in the 2019 Oscar-winning documentary American Factory, but as executive producers they were not nominated themselves (the Best Documentary Feature Oscar goes not to EPs but to directors and producers). The film was produced by Higher Ground, their Netflix-based production company.
The four-part Working: What We Do All Day finds the former president interacting with working people from a variety of walks of life, from those in service jobs to corporate types. “This docuseries explores the meaning of work for modern Americans in a time of rapid change,” as Netflix notes.
In Outstanding Narrator category, the former president will compete against Mahershala Ali (Chimp Empire); Angela Bassett (Good Night Oppy); Morgan Freeman (Our Universe: Chasing Starlight), and Pedro Pascal (Patagonia: Life on the Edge of the World).
Michelle Obama’s documentary hosted by Oprah grew out of her book tour for The Light We Carry. In conversation with Oprah, Mrs. Obama reflects on life lessons and challenges she has faced in her 59 years.
“The book came from people asking for guidance,” Mrs. Obama explains to Oprah. “When you get to those low emotional places, it’s hard to find your light.”
Barack and Michelle Obama celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary last year. They’ve had incredible highs but in the documentary Mrs. Obama confides it’s not like they never had a disagreement.
“We have to be honest about real marriage and the work that it takes to build a life with another person,” she tells Oprah. “It’s like all ‘hash tag relationship goals,’ and it was like, ‘I was mad at him in that picture.’” For details on what picture she’s referring to, you’ll have to watch the Netflix documentary.
Michelle Obama adds, “The light we carry is in all of us. It’s our responsibility to share that light. Going high begets more of it. That’s why we do it.”
Mrs. Obama and Oprah face competition in Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special from My Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman (specifically, for an episode of the Netflix series with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy); Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy; Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, and United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell.
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