After becoming one of the most loved families in politics, the Obamas are stepping into entertainment. According to Netflix’s latest announcement, the former president and the former first lady have signed a multi-year agreement with the streaming platform. They will be producing films as well as documentaries.
President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have entered into a multi-year agreement to produce films and series for Netflix, potentially including scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries, and features.
— Netflix US (@netflix) May 21, 2018
According to Netflix, the Obamas will “produce a diverse mix of content, including the potential for scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features. These projects will be available to the 125 million-member Netflix households in 190 countries.”
Barack and Michelle Obama will be both in front of and behind the camera in a multi-year production deal with Netflix. The first content will appear next year at the earliest. https://t.co/c4Los4uJ3w pic.twitter.com/0z3x4qG7Yx
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) May 21, 2018
Barack and Michelle will be making content under the banner of Higher Ground Productions. In a statement, talking about the deal, Obama said: “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.”
“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.”
Michelle added, “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. 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 too is very happy with the signing. Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said, “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. We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities.”
The Obamas already have a large social media presence — a combined 150 million followers on Twitter and Instagram — but the deal will see their influence boosted significantly by Netflix’s 125 million subscribers in 190 countries.
The statement didn’t discuss money, but their time in the White House has already begun to reap lucrative dividends for the Obamas, who negotiated book deals last year reportedly worth more than $60 million.
A much-awaited memoir by Michelle Obama is due to be released on November 13, publisher Penguin Random House said in February, describing her as “one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era.”
The Obamas are not planning to use Netflix to counter President Donald Trump or other conservatives, but will focus instead on “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,” the former first lady said.