Former American president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama will produce series and films for Netflix, the streaming service announced on Monday. The projects will include “scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features” that will reportedly explore the issues pursued by Obama during his eight-year term.
“The deal will give Mr. Obama an international television platform during his post-presidency, allowing him to reach millions of people in the United States and internationally,” The New York Times said. The newspaper had first reported the news about a possible deal in March.
The former Presidential couple has created a company named Higher Ground Productions. “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,” Barack Obama said in a statement that was reported in the American media. “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.”
In a statement, Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer for Netflix, 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 worth of the agreement with Netflix is not known. The couple were paid a reported $65 million for their respective memoirs by Penguin Random House in a joint book deal.
US President Donald Trump reacted to the news in characteristic fashion.