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23 Feb, 2024 20:15

Obama’s daughter reveals new name

Malia Obama now goes by Malia Ann, in an apparent bid to dodge accusations of nepotism
Obama’s daughter reveals new name

Malia Obama, daughter of former US President Barack Obama, has dropped her father’s surname for her Hollywood debut. Malia Ann quietly announced her nom de plume when her first short film, ‘The Heart’, recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

The eldest Obama daughter’s change of name was revealed in a ‘Meet the Artist’ video published by festival organizers last month, and has been the subject of tabloid gossip ever since. In the video, Malia Ann described her film as “an odd little story, somewhat of a fable, about a man grieving the death of his mother,” but made no mention of dropping her globally-recognized surname.

The 25-year-old first attempted to break into show business in 2017, when she took an internship with movie mogul and sex offender Harvey Weinstein. After graduating from Harvard University in 2021, she worked as a writer on the Amazon Prime Video television series ‘Swarm,’ although commenters on social media have persistently argued that her rise in the industry came as a result of her father’s name.

Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama also branched out into entertainment after leaving the White House. Their company, Higher Ground Productions, has produced series and documentaries for Netflix and podcasts for Spotify. The former president won an Emmy Award in 2022 for “outstanding” narration on a series about the US’ national parks.

Obama did not collect his award in person, nor did he attend his daughter’s red carpet premiere at Sundance.

Although the New York Times called ‘The Heart’ a “well-shot and spare debut,” it received mostly negative reviews on Letterboxd, a social media platform for film enthusiasts and armchair critics. “Honoring her father’s legacy by dropping a giant bomb and not receiving any criticism for it,” one scathing critic wrote, referring to Barack Obama’s liberal use of drone strikes during his presidency.