Not to be outdone by the Grammys, which awarded former President Barack Obama two awards for narrating his autobiographies, the Emmys bestowed an award on Obama on Saturday for “outstanding narrator” for the Netflix documentary, “Our Great National Parks.”
Congrats to President Barack Obama who just became the first President to win a competitive Emmy for narrating Our Great National Parks pic.twitter.com/v86JNsyDGD
— Netflix (@netflix) September 4, 2022
Media leaped on the idea that Obama now was halfway to becoming an “EGOT” winner, meaning the accomplishment of winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony.
“Barack Obama is halfway to an EGOT,” AP trumpeted. “Obama is now halfway to becoming an EGOT winner, someone who has received Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards,” CNN echoed. “He is also now halfway to EGOT,” The Hollywood Reporter celebrated. “Barack Obama is on his way to a possible EGOT,” People Magazine wrote.
17 people have won all four awards, but all of them were artists of one form or another. Some were composers and orchestrators, like iconic Broadway composer Richard Rodgers and fellow composers Andrew Lloyd Webber, Alan Menken and Marvin Hamlisch, and Robert Lopez; orchestrator-composer Jonathan Tunick and lyricist Tim Rice and also achieved the feat; some were actors like Audrey Hepburn, Rita Moreno, John Gielgud, Whoopi Goldberg and Jennifer Hudson; one musician, John Legend, earned the status, as did directors Mel Brooks and Mike Nichols and producer Scott Rudin.
Obama would become the first member of the EGOT group to enter simply by narrating. He won for narrating the episode “A World of Wonder.”
In the trailer for the documentary, Obama intoned, “When humanity started to protect these wild places, we did not realize how important they would become. They’re a haven for endangered species and a hotbed for scientific research.”
Other nominees for the EMMY Obama won at the Creative Arts Emmys included Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Attenborough and Lupita Nyong’o.
Obama’s wife Michelle won a Grammy in 2020, for narrating her memoir “Becoming.”
Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize; he was nominated after spending less than two weeks in office as President of the United States. A USA Today/Gallup Poll found that 61% of American adults said Obama did not deserve to win the prize.
Former Polish President Lech Walesa, the first democratically elected President of Poland since 1926 who won the Peace Prize in 1983 for courageously leading the pro-democratic effort which ultimately ended Communist rule in Poland in 1989, said, “So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far. He is only beginning to act.”