Spike Lee and the Obamas to drop projects on Netflix in 2020

A sign is posted in front of the Netflix headquarters on January 22, 2014 in Los Gatos, California. Netflix will report fourth quarter earnings today after the closing bell. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Netflix has announced a slate of projects that will premiere on the streaming service this year, including titles from Spike Lee and the Obamas.

As TheGrio previously reported, Barack and Michelle Obama inked a deal with Netflix back in 2018 to produce fiction and non-fiction content for adults and children, including documentaries, dramas that all focus on “celebrating the human spirit through struggles and triumph.”

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American Factory was the first project from their Higher Ground Productions imprint, which debuted on Netflix last August. Up next is a documentary about a summer camp for disabled teenagers titled Crip Camp. The Obamas serve as executive producers on the project, which “follows the journey of disabled teenagers attending a summer camp in the 1970s,” Complex writes.

Another hotly anticipated project under the High Learner banner includes a biopic about Frederick Douglass, based on David W Blight’s Pulitzer-winning book, according to The Guardian.

Meanwhile, Spike Lee’s partnership with Netflix continues with the release of Da 5 Bloods starring Chadwick Boseman. The tale follows “four African American vets who return to Vietnam seeking their squad leader’s remains and the promise of buried treasure,” per the official synopsis.

Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It series was canceled last summer by Netflix after its second season. The acclaimed director plans to shop the show around to other networks.

“Spike Lee is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and we’re thrilled he brought the series She’s Gotta Have It to Netflix. While this is our last season, we’re very proud that it will be on our service for years to come and excited to be working with Spike on his upcoming Netflix film Da 5 Bloods,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement at the time to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Meanwhile, with the Obamas’ Netflix deal, they will be able to reach 148 million paying subscribers, the New York Times reports. But they will avoid producing politically-driven material that could inflame tensions during the 2020 presidential election.

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