In early May 2018, Netflix announced they had signed the Obamas to a deal that will produce new content. As soon as the news came out, speculations over political shows shows based on their experiences as President and First Lady started spreading.
Netflix Content Head Ted Sarandos denied those possibilities. During an interview at the Paley Center for Media on Tuesday, Sarandos shared a sliver of an update that indicated Democratic talking points will have no place in the former First Family’s Netflix projects. “This is not the Obama Network,” Sarandos said. “There’s no political slant to the programming.”
The Obamas have signed on to create a variety of potential projects that fall into entertainment programming, including scripted films and TV shows, unscripted lifestyle content, and docuseries. Per reports, the Obamas want to focus on sharing inspirational stories. Ted stressed that the Obamas will be producing “entertainment” and not hard news, but admitted that “it’s hard to argue there’s not a left lean to the creative community.”
When asked about the deal, Ted said, “I didn’t want to see that deal go anywhere else, because I think they’re going to be great at it. The former first couple’s new media company, Higher Ground Productions, will be producing entertainment, not news.”
Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
“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 about the deal. “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.”