Jennifer Hudson Promotes Obamacare, Impersonates Olivia Pope in New Funny or Die Video

It’s the first video from Funny or Die’s new series of pro-Obamacare videos. The above two-minute segment, titled “Scandalous with Jennifer Hudson,” is a playful spoof of Scandal, ABC’s hit political-thriller series starring Kerry Washington. “I prefer covert scandal manager,” Hudson says when people refer to her as a “fixer.” But the main point of the video is to promote the benefits of Obamacare and to show viewers how to sign up. The sketch ends with this image, with the narrator encouraging you to visit the website:

On October 1, the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges—in which uninsured Americans will be able to buy coverage using federal subsidies—open up for business. While conservative groups are emphasizing doom and government excess (this includes the Koch brothers-backed young-conservatives group Generation Opportunity, which recently released this creepy, sort of rapey anti-Obamacare ad), Funny or Die, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay‘s comedy site, has planned a short series of comedic celebrity web videos aimed at educating American twenty-somethings about the law.

In July, a cluster of Hollywood big-names attended a meeting at the White House to chat about how they could help spread the word about Obamacare. (President Obama swung by for roughly half an hour to mingle and hear some of their ideas.) The meeting was run by senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, who gave a presentation on health care reform and talked about pushing back against conservative memes surrounding the law. Here is Jarrett tweeting about Funny or Die’s Scandal-themed PSA, using the hashtag “#GetCovered,” a hashtag that appears in the video:

And here’s the White House sharing it:

Hudson and Mike Farah, president of production and “ambassador of lifestyle,” were both present at the July meeting. “We want to make the right amount of videos—ones that are smart and break through the clutter [and rhetoric],” Farah told Mother Jones. “If we can help make [signing up for Obamacare] a normal thing, something that isn’t politicized, something that comes second nature to younger people (like putting your seatbelt on), that is something we’d want to do…It’s not like one Funny or Die video can change the world—it’d be nice if it could! But people have to hear about this issue from all sorts of directions.”

Funny or Die has generated and promoted Obamacare-related content before, including “The Mis-Informant” (starring Jack Black as a “professional mis-informant who gets paid a buttload of cash” to lie about Obamacare) and “Injured Americans Against Obamacare.” The website pumps out a lot of political satire in general. Shortly after the 2008 election, it released the star-studded “Prop 8 – The Musical.” More recently, Funny or Die produced a sketch warning of the dangers of sequestration, and worked with actress Alyssa Milano on her “sex tape” that turned out to be all about the bloodshed in Syria.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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