By Stephanie Nolasco, ,
Published May 21, 2018
Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have entered a multiyear agreement to produce new films and shows with Netflix.
The former president and first lady are determined to produce a diverse mix of content, including a potential scripted series, an unscripted series, a docu-series, documentaries and features, according to a press release from Netflix about the deal.
The streaming service revealed the projects will be available to their 125 million members in 190 countries.
The couple also established Higher Ground Productions, which will serve as the entity under which they will produce content for Netflix.
“One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience,” said former President Obama in a statement.
“That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix — we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world,” the 56-year-old added.
Michelle said the couple’s willingness to pursue filming after their time in the White House was a no-brainer.
“Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others,” said the 54-year-old. “Netflix’s unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership.”
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said the streaming service is thrilled to have the Obamas as part of their creative team and are eager to see what the couple has to offer for viewers.
“Barack and Michelle Obama are among the world’s most respected and highly-recognized public figures and are uniquely positioned to discover and highlight stories of people who make a difference in their communities and strive to change the world for the better,” explained Sarandos. “We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities.”
The Obamas pursuing the filmmaking world isn’t a new concept.
Vanity Fair previously reported that in the summer of 2015, their eldest daughter Malia Obama left the White House to embark on an internship with HBO’s “Girls.” She then moved on to intern for fallen Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
In late 2017, Deadline.com reported Obama issued a statement on Weinstein, who has since been accused of assaulting and raping dozens of women.
“Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports of Harvey Weinstein,” he wrote. “Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status.
“We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture, including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect, so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future.”
Netflix did not mention when the first project from the Obamas will debut.