Donald Glover hired Malia Obama to be one of the writers for his new ‘Hive’ series

You want to feel old? Malia Obama is 23 years old and she graduated from Harvard last year. Sasha will turn 21 years old this summer! Time flies. Michelle and Barack Obama did a great job of letting the girls grow up mostly out of the spotlight, but assuring that they still had access to the best education and the best cultural experiences. Malia has long been fascinated with Hollywood, and she’s interned with TV and film producers for years. Now she’s scored her first full-time job after graduating from Harvard! Donald Glover confirmed that he and his brother/producing & writing partner Stephen Glover have hired Malia as a writer on their new Amazon series Hive.

Donald Glover, the multihyphenate behind the FX series Atlanta, confirmed Thursday that he has recruited Malia Obama to the writers room for his new Amazon series. The acclaimed Emmy winner says he is impressed by the former first daughter’s strong work ethic.

“She’s just like, an amazingly talented person,” said Glover at the Atlanta season three premiere, held at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. “She’s really focused, and she’s working really hard.”

Glover also praised Obama’s writing skills and her ability to communicate her ideas with clarity. Barack and Michelle Obama’s eldest daughter was hired to share her experiences for a series potentially titled Hive, which is reportedly about a Beyoncé-type character. Glover, also known as the rapper Childish Gambino, is writing and executive producing the project, and says Obama has a promising future in the industry.

“I feel like she’s just somebody who’s gonna have really good things coming soon,” he said. “Her writing style is great.”

Glover’s younger brother, Atlanta cowriter and executive producer Stephen Glover, has also been collaborating with Obama on the forthcoming Amazon show. “Donald always says perspective is important, and people with different perspectives are important for a writers room. And for sure, she definitely has a unique perspective on everything,” said Stephen. “So we wanted to hear her stories and have her work with us. Listening to her stories and having her involved really gave us a lot of good ideas.”

Twenty-three-year-old Obama has been actively pursuing a career in Hollywood for a few years. Her gig with Glover follows numerous showbiz internships, including a stint at HBO’s Girls in 2015 and at the Weinstein Company in 2017. She also worked as a production assistant on the Halle Berry television drama, Extant, before graduating from Harvard last year.

In the room, though, she’s just another writer. When asked how he might shoot down one of Obama’s pitches—knowing that she could tell her parents—Stephen joked, “Well, you know, we just hurt her feelings. We can’t be easy on her just because she’s the [former] president’s daughter.” He added, “Nah, she’s very down to earth, and cool. So, it’s not a problem at all. She has a lot of good ideas. She’s great. She’s just a regular person like everybody else.”

[From Vanity Fair]

Malia’s internships always indicated her interest in the film/TV industry, and she’s had so many internships, she must understand how film sets, production offices and TV sets work by now. She did work her way up and I bet she had to submit a package of writing samples just like everyone else in every writers room. My point is that it’s not even a nepotism hire for the Glovers – tons of TV writers are 22 or 23 year-olds fresh out of college.

Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey have talked a lot about what it was like, at the start of the careers, to often be the only woman writer in the room. I wonder if there are other Black women in the Hive writers room? I bet there are. Also: it does crack me up a little bit that neither Malia nor Sasha are interested in following in their parents’ law school footsteps. They really noped out of those LSATs. (I mean, Sasha still has time, but I don’t think she’s interested.)

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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20 Responses to “Donald Glover hired Malia Obama to be one of the writers for his new ‘Hive’ series”

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  1. Grace says:

    Love the Obamas. She’s definitely starting out her adult life on “third base”, no matter how much talent she has, right?

    • ME says:

      Yes she is…but honestly who wouldn’t take advantage of the connections your parents have? Even non-famous people do it. But also, she must have the talent to have been hired. The writer’s room is notoriously a tough place to be.

    • TOM says:

      Her last name gets her to the front of the line. Hard work and talent will keep her at the table.

      Looking forward to Hive.

    • Mika says:

      I am sure Malia is talented. No hate for her at all.


      It is not normal to get staffed in a writers room at 23 in the year 2022.

  2. Southern Fried says:

    Glover is nobody’s fool so hiring her must be a wise move. Congrats to her! She earned it.

  3. Songs (Or It Didn't Happen) says:

    I admit I didn’t know much about the Obama children, so I never realized Malia was interested in screenwriting, but this is awesome.

    (to callback to yesterday’s Gaga article, HONK))

  4. Eggbert says:

    Way to go Malia!

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Yes! I’m certain that she has talent and given her vast amounts of exposure she has learned quite a bit at 23. As she has traveled extensively and has been writing for a great deal of time.

      That said, her name may open doors but her talent will keep her at the writers table.

  5. Michael says:

    I do not blame them for not taking the LSATs. There are not a lot of happy lawyers in the world

  6. Nanea says:

    Donald Glover doesn’t appear to be someone who’d hire a writer just because their name might bring a certain amount of publicity to his projects.

    Fingers crossed for Malia that she will have a succesful career in script writing.

    • Normades says:

      I’m sure this is just a step forward to bigger things in the future, like producing. She seems to want to learn it all from the ground up unlike that Beckham boy.

  7. Sandii says:

    I am sure she is talented…. But so are thousand other young women. I wish her the best but let’s not pretend this was not a nepotism hire.

    • Shai says:

      No one is pretending her last name didn’t get her noticed, but that will only get her so far & her talent/drive is what will keep her there. People throw around the word nepotism like it’s a bad thing, but even non-famous/non-rich people use connections if possible to at least get their foot in the door (it won’t keep you in the room though).

    • Grace Clayton says:

      Would Malia have gotten that job if she wasn’t the daughter of the first Black FLOTUS and POTUS?
      It is nepotism and that will keep her afloat. Why? Well, she is hardly the only writer on that show. Firstly she has the opportunity to learn from other writers who are likely going to be way more experienced. She has that opportunity to learn from some of the best cause Donald Glover Jr will have some really good writers on his show as he knows them cause his dad is somebody in Hollywood. Secondly Malia Obama has the opportunity to network and she doesn’t start at the bottom but she starts in the show of the well-established successful son and actor (Donald Jr) of a well-connected well-established actor (Danny Glover aka Donald Sr). All of that will keep her afloat far higher and help her rise far quicker than the average young high school or college graduate who doesn’t have any connections and tries his or her hand at writing.

      So yes, this is nepotism.

      • Aviva says:

        Donald Glover isn’t Danny Glover’s son. Donald Glover Sr. Is a retired postal worker.

  8. Amy Bee says:

    Her last name is Obama. No doubt she had a lot of doors opened to her that others would not. Yes, she got a lot of internships but the competition for those spots is tough and who’s going to turn down an application from the former president’s daughter. Good luck to her.

  9. Veronica S. says:

    She’s absolutely a nepotism hire, but as long as she puts out good work, I don’t care. Wealthy white people use connections for upward mobility all the time, so I’m not going to whine when POC do it. I just better never hear these people ever say anything about being self-made lol.

    • Grace Clayton says:

      So true. Do admit to your privileges. And don’t oppose when some opportunities are given to those poorer than you.

  10. Tiffany:) says:

    Nepotism might have played a role in getting her the experience that allowed her to be considered for this position (i.e. the internships), but I don’t think they would hire a bad writer just because of her father. Donald’s standards are too high. Also…considering that both of her parents are incredible writers themselves, it isn’t surprising that she’d have a way with words.