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Barack and Michelle Obama partner with Netflix to produce movies and TV shows

Barack and Michelle Obama partner with Netflix to produce movies and TV shows
The Obamas will produce the Netflix shows through their production entity, Higher Ground Productions. (Jim Young / AFP/Getty Images)

Barack Obama has long had close ties to Hollywood. Now the 44th U.S. president is officially becoming a Hollywood producer in a new multiyear deal with Netflix that will see the former commander in chief and his wife, Michelle, produce movies, TV series and other content for the global streaming giant.

Netflix announced Monday that the former first couple will create a “diverse mix of content,” including the potential for scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features. The Obamas will produce the Netflix shows through their production entity, Higher Ground Productions.

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“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 Monday.

“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.”

Rumors that the Obamas were looking to partner with Netflix first surfaced in March. Later that month, the Los Gatos, Calif., streaming giant named former Obama national security advisor Susan Rice to its board of directors.

Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings has donated money to numerous Democratic candidates in the past, including to the presidential campaigns of Obama and Hillary Clinton, and publicly criticized Donald Trump in 2016 during the Republican candidate’s ultimately successful bid for the presidency.

The streaming giant didn’t say when its subscribers would be able to see the first Obama-produced shows. But the company, which boasts 125 million subscribers globally, said the programs would be available to customers worldwide.

Michelle Obama said in a statement that “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.”

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