Malala Yousafzai is joining the ranks of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry and Barack and Michelle Obama as the newest political superstar to ink a production deal with a major streaming service. The 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner shared the news today, International Women’s Day, on Instagram alongside a photo of herself already at work on the new project.
“I believe in the power of stories to bring families together, forge friendships, build movements and inspire children to dream. And I’m thrilled to partner with @appletv to help bring new stories to life – and to support women, young people, writers and artists in reflecting the world as they see it,” wrote Yousafzai. “Today I’m announcing a multi-year programming partnership with Apple TV+ that will span dramas, comedies, documentaries, animation and children’s series.”
Based on that description, it sounds as though Yousafzai’s work with Apple is likely to follow the same path she’s taken with Assembly, the digital platform she launched three years ago on which young women from across the globe share their own perspectives on big issues like the climate crisis, education, gender, mental health, and more. The platform publishes stories in more than 20 different languages.
For Apple, Yousafzai will produce original dramatic, animated, documentary, and children’s programming that is likely to champion education and women’s rights. She’ll add the work to her film and television CV which already includes the 2015 Emmy-winning documentary, He Named Me Malala. That film centered on her activism both before and after the attack she survived at the hands of the Taliban in 2012 when she was shot in the head simply for attending school.
The 23-year-old activist and author (Yousafzai has written three books including the best-selling memoir, I Am Malala) has partnered with Apple in the past, working alongside the tech company through her Malala Fund education program. The Malala Fund operates in countries where girls’ access to education is blocked by social, financial, or political barriers — a problem that, if current trends continue, will persist for another century.
While the Obamas and the Sussexes have signed with Netflix, Yousafzai will join an Apple roster that includes Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Kumail Nanjiani, and more A-list stars.
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