Malia Ann Obama, Daughter Of Michelle And Barack Obama, Drops Last Name As She Embarks On A Career In Hollywood

Malia Obama, the daughter of former US President Barack Obama has made a significant decision as she embarks on her journey into Hollywood. The 25-year-old has chosen to drop her famous last name.

Published on Feb 23, 2024  |  12:21 PM IST |  50.4K
Malia Ann Obama at the Sundance Film Festival (IMDb)

Malia Ann Obama, the eldest daughter of Barack and Michelle Obama has officially dropped her last name ahead of her Hollywood career. The 25-year-old, fresh out of Harvard, was introduced as Malia Ann – filmmaker (her first and middle name) in the Sundance Institute’s Meet the Artist spotlight video. 

The move is speculated to be an attempt to distance herself from the legacy of her famous parents, who themselves have launched their careers in entertainment via Higher Ground Productions. 

Wondering what Hollywood project is Malia a part of? Find out below!

Malia Ann’s The Heart — A heartwarming and gut-wrenching story of a mother-son duo

In her Sundance spotlight video, Malia, who directed The Heart, described it as “an odd little story, somewhat of fable, about a man grieving the death of his mother after she leaves him an unusual request in her will.” 

The Heart, a short story, has been produced by Donald Glover’s company Gilga. It marks Malia’s first time directing a project. She had previously worked as a writer on Glover’s Amazon Prime series Swarm and the movie maker had only good words to say about the Obama kid. 

Malia Ann — ‘An incredible writer and artist’ 

Malia Ann Obama (IMDb)

During her short while in showbiz, Malia has already managed to impress the people around her. Hailing praises on the former president’s daughter, Donald Glover told Vanity Fair in March 2022, “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. Her writing style is great. We can't be easy on her just because she's the [former] president’s daughter,” he added.

Malia is credited as a writer for Glover’s Amazon Prime series Swarm. She co-wrote the fifth episode of the show along with creator Janine Nabers. Speaking to ET last year, he too praised Malia, saying, “Some of her pitches were wild as hell, and they were just so good and so fun. She's an incredible writer. She brought a lot to the table.” 

He added, “She’s really, really dedicated to her craft.”

The nepo-baby chatter — Whoopi Goldberg defends Malia Ann 

Malia Ann Obama, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama and Sasha Obama (IMDb)

While some critics targeted Malia, calling her a nepo kid, Whoopi Goldberg stood in her defense. 

“She knows she’s an Obama, why do you care? Why do you care what she calls herself? If she wanted to call herself Jeanette McDonald, she has the right to! If I can be Whoopi Goldberg, she can be whoever the hell she wants to be,” The Color Purple star said on the latest episode of The View. 

“I mean, why are people triggered by this kind of stuff? Why are people wasting their time? She added. 

Malia’s aforementioned 18-minute-long short film has received less than complimentary reviews on the film review website Letterbox. So far, the film has been called a “real stinker,” a “half-baked short,” and “truly dreadful” among other things.

ALSO READ: Tyler Perry Halts $800M Studio Expansion Over AI Concerns, Urges Action To Preserve Jobs And Industry



What has been the initial reception to Malia's debut project, The Heart?
Reviews for 'The Heart' have been varied, with some critics offering less-than-favorable assessments on platforms like the film review website Letterboxd.

Why did Malia Obama change her surname?
Malia Obama, eldest daughter of Barack and Michelle Obama, chose to alter her surname in an effort to leave her parents' legacy behind as she enters the Hollywood industry.

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Greetings! I'm a storytelling enthusiast with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Mumbai University.



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