Barack Obama, Michelle Obama Ink Netflix Production Deal, Aim to Promote 'Empathy and Understanding' - NBC 7 San Diego

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama Ink Netflix Production Deal, Aim to Promote 'Empathy and Understanding'

"We hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples," former President Barack Obama said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Obamas Are Coming to Netflix

    Barack and Michelle Obama have reached a deal to produce series and films for Netflix (Published Monday, May 21, 2018)

    What to Know

    • Barack and Michelle Obama's production company is called Higher Ground Productions, in a nod to a Stevie Wonder song

    • They hope to "promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world"

    • Content from the Netflix deal is not expected to be available until at least 2019

    Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have new job titles: movie and TV show producer for Netflix.

    Netflix announced Monday that the Obamas have signed on to produce content for the platform, and are creating a new production company as well. They'll make series as well as movies.

    "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'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 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," Michelle 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."

    The Obamas' production company is called Higher Ground Productions. Stevie Wonder played his song by the same name at Obama's first inaugural concert after being used as one of the campaign's unofficial theme songs.

    The announcement didn't say how many shows and movies the Obamas would make, how long the deal would last or how much it is worth.

    No content from the deal is expected to be available until at least 2019, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

    The former president appeared in January on David Letterman's Netflix talk show, "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction." Obama is said to be friendly with Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, and discussions for other programming were already under way.

    Netflix has 125 members in 190 countries, the company says, and it is dominant in the growing market for streaming services. About half of all content streams through Netflix, according to the Nielsen company, and no other service comes close.

    Sarandos said in a statement that the company was "incredibly proud" that they chose to work with Netflix. 

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    They "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," he said.