Netflix Reportedly In Negotiations With The Obamas

Barack, Michelle Obama announce Netflix documentaries with their production company

Priya Swaminathan and Tonia Davis, co-heads of Higher Ground Productions, the Obama’s production company in partnership with Netflix, said in a Tuesday news release that the projects include scripted and unscripted documentary series and full-length features and documentaries. The news comes after reports that Barack Obama was in negotiations with the streaming platform last year.

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“We created Higher Ground to harness the power of storytelling. That’s why we couldn’t be more excited about these projects,” Barack Obama said in a statement. “Touching on issues of race and class, democracy and civil rights, and much more, we believe each of these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect, and inspire us all.”

In this Oct. 31, 2017, file photo, former President Barack Obama, right, and former first lady Michelle Obama appear at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago. The Obamas have unveiled a slate of projects in development for Netflix, a year after the former president and first lady signed a deal with the streaming platform. The Obamas' production company, Higher Ground Productions, announced on April 30, 2019 that a total of seven films and series that Barack Obama said will entertain, educate, connect and inspire.
Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

“We love this slate because it spans so many different interests and experiences, yet it’s all woven together with stories that are relevant to our daily lives,” Michelle Obama said in a statement. “We think there’s something here for everyone -- moms and dads, curious kids, and anyone simply looking for an engaging, uplifting watch at the end of a busy day. We can’t wait to see these projects come to life -- and the conversations they’ll generate.”

Each project is in varying stages of development and will be released over the next several years, according to the news release.

Rolling Stone reported that the first  project to be released is the Sundance award-winning doc “American Factory,” which was acquired by Netflix in association with Higher Ground Productions. The film chronicles the tensions between a Chinese billionaire, who opens a new factory in an abandoned General Motors plant in Ohio, and the working class. 

Other projects include an adaptation of David W. Blight’s Pulitzer Prize-wining book, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom;” “Bloom,” a post-WWII drama set in New York looking at women and people of color facing barriers in fashion; and “Listen to Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents,” a half-hour preschool series that educates children and their families on where their food comes from.

Find out more about the projects, including the full slate announced to date, at Netflix.com.

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