Former First Daughter Malia Obama Co-Wrote One Of Swarm’s “Wildest” Episodes

“I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people.”

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 14: (L-R) Dominique Fishback and Malia Ann attend the "Swarm" Red Ca...
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While exploring the pitfalls of achieving fame at a young age, the team behind Prime Video’s Swarm added someone to the writers’ room with firsthand experience: Malia Obama. For her TV writing debut, the former first daughter collaborated on the horror-comedy’s fifth episode, “Girl, Bye,” which the streamer simply describes as the one in which antihero Dre (Dominique Fishback) — the protagonist who’s obsessed with a fictional, Beyoncé-like pop star, Ni’Jah (Nirine S. Brown) — tries to get her phone fixed. “[“Girl, Bye”] is probably one of the wildest episodes,” Swarm co-creator Janine Nabers recently teased to Entertainment Tonight. “I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people. It’s pretty dope. I’m really proud of it.”

The 24-year-old Harvard graduate seamlessly “folded into” the writing process, according to Nabers. “Some of her pitches were wild as hell, and they were just so good and so funny,” the showrunner revealed. “She’s an incredible writer. She brought a lot to the table. … She’s really, really dedicated to her craft.”

Nabers also previously described how Obama’s age helped inform the crafting of main characters Dre and Marissa (Chloe Bailey). “Dre and Marissa are in their 20s and Malia is in her 20s, so it was really great having someone like her in the room,” the writer explained to Vanity Fair in January. “She’s a very professional person. She’s an incredible writer and artist. We really wanted to give her the opportunity to get her feet wet in TV and see if this is something she wants to continue doing.” (Obama previously interned on HBO’s Girls and worked as a production assistant on Halle Berry’s CBS sci-fi drama series, Extant.)

Photo by Arnold Turner/Getty Images for Prime Video

Swarm co-creator Donald Glover, for his part, has also praised Obama’s writing style and work ethic, telling Vanity Fair in March 2022, “She’s just like, an amazingly talented person. She’s really focused, and she’s working really hard. ... I feel like she’s just somebody who’s gonna have really good things coming soon.”

At the time, the Atlanta Emmy winner’s younger brother, Stephen Glover, who served as an executive producer on Swarm, joked about how Obama didn’t get preferential treatment in pitch meetings. “We just hurt her feelings. We can’t be easy on her just because she’s the [former] president’s daughter,” he quipped of Barack and Michelle Obama’s elder child. “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.”

At the 2023 South by Southwest Film Festival on March 17, Bailey recalled having previously seen the Obama daughter “in passing” at the White House Easter Egg Roll. “Her mom has always been so warm and welcoming to my sister [Halle Bailey], and so seeing her again as we were older and evolved into women and owning ourselves and our creative minds, it was really cool,” the “Have Mercy” singer revealed to The Hollywood Reporter at the Austin, Texas, festival. “It felt like a group of girlfriends when we were on set.”

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