Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's hit series returns to Netflix
Amidst Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's hit political satire series Servant of the People has returned to Netflix in the U.S.
Netflix shared the announcement Wednesday on Twitter, following a boost in licensing interest across the globe in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Servant of the People, which was originally part of Netflix's 2017-2021 library, follows the misadventures of a Ukrainian high school history teacher (Zelenskyy), who finds himself elected as the country's president after his tirade against government corruption goes viral. The series ran for three seasons, ending in 2019, when Zelenskyy began his own presidential campaign under a newly formed political party named after the show. (Yes, really.)
As Russian President Vladimir Putin's troops advanced into Ukraine earlier this month, distributor Eccho Rights shared a message in support of Ukraine and the actor-turned-president, noting a spike in international licensing interest for Servant of the People. A number of major broadcasters, including Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, MBC in the Middle East, ANT 1 in Greece, and PRO TV in Romania, have licensed it.
"The series is a comedy but also an important document of where Zelenskyy comes from," Eccho said in a statement. "His fictional president is a normal man, who grows into his role as a heroic and adored leader. While the real-world scenario facing Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people is far more grim and appalling than the comedy of the series, there are obvious parallels with the real-world situation, and Servant of the People is a fascinating, important, and historic piece of television."
As the series made its return to the Netflix library on Wednesday, Zelenskyy delivered a virtual address to Congress, invoking 9/11 and the attack on Pearl Harbor in an impassioned plea for the U.S. to do more to stop Russia's invasion.
"Remember September the 11, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn your cities, independent territories, [into] battlefields, when innocent people were attacked from air. Yes, just like no one else expected it, you could not stop it," he said, per the Associated Press. "Our country experiences the same thing every day, right now at this moment, every night for three weeks now."
At the end of his address, Zelenskyy appealed directly to the U.S. president, saying, "I'm addressing to President Biden: You are the leader of the nation, of your brave nation. I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace."
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