Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama’s post-White House legacy will now include being media moguls, marking a new step in expanding their already influential cultural footprint.
Representatives for Netflix and the Obamas declined to comment on the deal’s details, including the timeline for their projects or what subjects the Obamas might explore. A source close to the deal told HuffPost that the earliest the Obamas’ work would appear on the streaming platform would be in late 2019.
A source told CNN that some of the projects will include the Obamas appearing on camera, while they’ll be working behind the scenes on others.
“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.”
The former first lady said in a statement that she and her husband “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. 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.”
According to the streaming service, the Obama’s work will include a variety of content, adding to Netflix’s already large catalog of original programming, according to the streaming service. Their projects will appear across all of Netflix’s international editions, potentially reaching 125 million members in 190 countries, the service said.
The Obamas will produce their work through a newly founded company, Higher Ground Productions, the streaming service said.
Their work will likely focus on some of the issues they championed in the White House, part of a wide range of projects and initiatives they have launched in their post-White House life, including public service fellowships and ongoing plans for the Obama presidential library in Chicago.
Netflix head Ted Sarandos called the Obamas “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.”
The former president recently appeared on the Netflix show “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” hosted by comedian David Letterman.