- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 8, 2019

A certain former president and first lady have made their mark in Hollywood.

“The Obamas settling into new role as Netflix producers,” said The Hollywood Reporter — referring of course to former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, who signed an exclusive production deal with Netflix some 15 months ago, then formed a Los Angeles-based production company called Higher Ground.

More significantly, the couple is now readying their first release, a documentary titled “American Factory,” which chronicles the culture clash between Chinese and American workers in a U.S. auto glass factory. It is set to debut on Netflix before 139 million subscribers in 190 countries on Aug. 21 and will also be screened in select theaters around the nation.

The film was already cited at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The couple’s next project will be “Bloom,” a dramatic series set in New York City shortly after World War II. The former White House residents, meanwhile, appear to be settling in at Netflix.

“Netflix staffers describe the surreal experience of an office visit from the president, who reportedly enters the building via an underground tunnel connected to the parking garage,” the Hollywood Reporter said.

“Some have found themselves in a spontaneous conversation with Obama about a project, while others are delighted when he remembers their name from a previous meeting. According to agents, meetings with Obama proceed surprisingly normally, because he makes small talk,” the industry publication advised.

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The Obamas have also signed an exclusive agreement with Spotify to produce podcasts and will voice some of the productions themselves, according to Deadline Hollywood.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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