President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama continue to break ground long after leaving the White House with the announcement they have entered into a multi-year agreement with Netflix to produce films and series. Through their new production company Higher Ground Productions, Obama produced projects may include scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features. While it is customary for former presidents to venture into content following their presidency, usually in the form of book deals, this is the first time we have seen a former president sign a film and television deal post-presidency.
President Obama said of the deal, “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 Obama 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.”
While the deal allows the Obamas to reach Netflix’s 125 million member households in 190 countries, the deal also allows Netflix to capitalize on the popularity of the Obamas, especially in the midst of tensions and controversy surrounding the current President’s administration.
“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,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities.”