After taking a much-needed vacation upon leaving the White House, Barack and Michelle Obama have been getting back to work for the better part of the year.
In addition to finalizing plans for the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago, meeting with the first group of Obama Foundation fellows, and speaking at conferences around the globe, the Obamas inked a multi-million dollar book deal, and now they’re taking their talents to Netflix.
Monday, the streaming giant announced it had reached a groundbreaking agreement with the Obamas to “produce a diverse mix of content, including the potential for scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features.”
Additionally, the former president and first lady established Higher Ground Productions to produce content for the screen.
In a statement about the deal, Mrs. Obama touted her love of storytelling as one major reason she and President Obama partnered with Netflix.
“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,” Mrs. Obama said. “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.”
Former President Obama echoed his wife’s thoughts.
“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,” he said. “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 the company is “proud” to partner with the Obamas, who he called the “most respected” public figures in the world.
“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,” Sarandos said. “We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities.”
This latest move marks yet another huge partnership for Netflix, which has already signed blockbuster production deals with Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy.