Barack Obama has taken home the Best Narrator Emmy for his voiceovers on the Netflix documentary series Our Great National Parks, beating seasoned VO master Sir David Attenborough. Produced by Barack and Michelle’s Higher Ground production company, the five-part nature series explores the flora and fauna of national parks from all over the world.
As well as Attenborough, Obama was up against the dulcet tones of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Lupita Nyong’o. Obama is actually the second president to win an Emmy. The first was Dwight D Eisenhower, who was awarded a special Emmy in 1956.
Former US president Barack Obama has previously won Grammy Awards for audiobook readings of his memoirs The Audacity of Hope and A Promised Land. This year’s Emmy Awards also saw the late Chadwick Boseman receive the Outstanding Character Voiceover award for his work on the Disney Plus and Marvel Studios’ animated show What If…?
The show saw Boseman voice his Black Panther character T’Challa in an alternative cross-over universe where he becomes the Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy. The project was one of Boseman’s last. The actor died of colon cancer in 2020 at the age of 43.
In October last year, Netflix and Howard University announced a new scholarship to honour the late actor. The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship began in autumn 2021 and provides incoming students to the College of Fine Arts with a four-year scholarship to cover all university tuition fees. Amounting to $5.4 million in total, the scholarship was created alongside Boseman’s wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman with sponsorship from the streaming site Netflix.