The former presidential couple have been busy. Already possessing massive online followings and with their biographies soon to be out (with both book deals said to be worth $60 million each), Barack and Michelle Obama have yet another source to connect with their followers and supporters – Netflix. Earlier today, Netflix US tweeted: “President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have entered into a multi-year agreement to produce films and series for Netflix, potentially including scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries, and features.”
In their years in office, both Obamas used the media extensively to reach out to the nation and gain support. People may recall the numerous times the former president appeared on Late Shows, Michelle Obama’s Best Picture presentation over Skype at the 2013 Academy Awards, and of course, the various ways the Obama Administration used social media like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Indeed, many titled the 44th President of the U.S. as the “first social-media president.” Yet, the couple did not only focus on establishing their own images online – it was also important for them to be able to spread stories they found important as expressed by Mr. Obama in the following statement, ““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, 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.”
Not many expected Mr. and Mrs. Obama to dive into the business of entertainment after their terms in office, yet the Netflix deal follows an earlier collaboration between the streaming giant and the former president: in 2016 Netflix released Barry, a film that tells a story about Obama’s later years in Columbia University to critical, but not commercial success.