Skip to main content

Eleven months after striking a deal with Netflix, the Obamas have a slate of programming.

Barack and Michelle Obama’s new production company, Higher Ground Productions, announced seven projects that are in the works for Netflix, including several documentaries and a movie about Frederick Douglass.

The former president and first lady have said that their production company will cover a wide spectrum of programming, but there is one thing they apparently have no interest in: Creating third-rail political material. The Obamas are intent on avoiding any material that could inflame tensions at a red hot political moment, particularly as the 2020 presidential election begins to ramp up.

Story continues below advertisement

“Touching on issues of race and class, democracy and civil rights and much more, we believe each of these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect and inspire us all,” Barack Obama said in a statement.

Here’s an early look at the shows and films the Obamas are planning:

  • American Factory, a documentary directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert that examines life in Ohio where a Chinese billionaire opened a factory in a former General Motors plant and hired 2,000 people. Higher Ground Productions described it as “early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.”
  • Bloom, a drama series set in post-Second World War New York, will explore the “barriers faced by women and by people of color in an era marked by hurdles but also tremendous progress.” It will be produced by Callie Khouri, who wrote Thelma & Louise.
  • A film adaptation of David W. Blight’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom. Higher Grounds did not announce a screenwriter or any producers.
  • Adapting a New York Times recurring feature called Overlooked, a series of obituaries about people whose deaths were previously not reported by the newspaper. Higher Ground Productions said it would be a scripted anthology series.
  • A nonfiction series adapted from Michael Lewis’ book The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy.
  • A documentary film, Crip Camp, about the origins of the disability rights movement.
  • A half-hour series for preschoolers called Listen To Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents that will “take young children and their families around the globe on an adventure that tells us the story of our food.”
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter