“The Black Godfather” Producer Nicole Avant on Working with Obama, Honoring Dad’s Legacy
By LA Stories Staff Los Angeles
PUBLISHED 8:09 AM ET Mar. 22, 2021
As the daughter of legendary music mogul Clarence Avant, Nicole Avant had far from a “typical” childhood.
She often found major musical artists, politicians, and industry giants sitting right there in her living room. Avant listened and learned from some of the most powerful people in the world, including her parents. The experience shaped her childhood and inspired her passion for using her power for good.
“I watched the men and women with a lot of power, but who made sure that they were mentoring with it,” Avant said. “They talked to me about life. They talked to me about humanity. They talked to me about philanthropy and activism.”
As the wife of Netflix co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, Avant continues to follow the advice she received as a child.
In the latest episode of LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez, she opens up about how she chooses to use her power and platform in order to bring about change for others. After working for some time with her father in the music industry, Avant shifted into politics and became a top fundraiser for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.
After he became president, Obama appointed Avant as ambassador to the Bahamas, where she advocated for young girls to go to college, helped small businesses, and called upon her powerful friends to assist in helping out the communities there.
“I lived this life,” said Avant. “I’ve been blessed with these relationships, and I’m going to use these relationships for the betterment of all people.”
Avant has now turned her attention to filmmaking. Her latest work, The Black Godfather, pays homage to her father — and to those powerful friends who taught her so much as a young girl. The documentary, which streams on Netflix, illustrates what real power looks like when it’s used in service to others. Avant says she wants the documentary to serve as a road map for future generations, in order to show them what happens when power is used for good.
“Let’s tell stories about people being there for each other people, opening doors for each other, people fighting for each other, taking a stand for each other,” she said. “That was also a part of the film. Let’s show them what it looks like.”