Netflix confirms Barack and Michelle Obama’s “multi-year agreement” to make TV and films

Projects could include scripted and unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama

Rumours have been flying around for months, but Netflix has finally confirmed its “storytelling partnership” with Barack Obama and Michelle Obama.

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The former US President and his First Lady will produce films and TV shows as part of a “multi-year agreement” with the online streaming giant, with the lofty ambition of promoting “greater empathy and understanding between peoples.”

Specific shows have yet to be announced, but the Obamas – through their brand-new production company, Higher Ground Productions – will produce a diverse range of content.

According to Netflix, projects could include scripted and unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features.

There has been speculation that the Obamas could tackle issues close to their hearts such as health care, climate change and immigration. But they are not expected to use the platform to take on Obama’s conservative critics, or to attack President Donald Trump.

“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 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.”

Barack and Michelle Obama (Getty, EH)

Mrs 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.”

The Obamas’ shows will be made available to millions of viewers in 190 countries.

“Barack and Michelle Obama are among the world’s most respected and highly-recognised 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’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos.

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“We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities.”


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