Film & TV

The Obamas Sign Multi-Year Deal with Netflix to Produce Shows and Movies

Michelle and Barack Obama at the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit, October 31, 2017. (Reuters photo: Kamil Krzaczynski)

Netflix announced Monday that Barack and Michelle Obama have signed “a multi-year agreement” to produce television shows and movies for the company’s rapidly growing line of original content.

The Obamas are slated to produce scripted and unscripted series as well as documentaries and feature films, according to a Netflix tweet announcing 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,” the former president said 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.”

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement that the Obamas “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.”

Obama has frequently bemoaned the polarized state of the media eco-system since leaving office. A New York Times report published in March indicated that the Obamas will avoid overtly partisan programming in favor of a broader aspirational message. One project reportedly under consideration would feature debates over contentious national issues moderated by the former president.

The Obamas’ compensation remains undisclosed but the couple were reportedly paid $60 million for their joint memoir, indicating that taste-makers believe consumers are eager for Obama-produced content.

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