Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine, was just acquired for a cool $900 million, and it seems a Reese-approved streaming service could be a reality soon
Along with being an acclaimed actress and fashion mogul, Reese Witherspoon is also at the helm of her own media company, Hello Sunshine, with Witherspoon starring in and working behind-the-scenes on Big Little Lies, Little Fires Everywhere, The Morning Show, and the upcoming Legally Blonde 3, among others. But it seems like Witherspoon has even bigger plans in the works, because the Wall Street Journal reported that Hello Sunshine was sold for a cool $900 million, and the future might include a Reese Witherspoon-approved streaming service.
The company has been acquired by a media company backed by Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, who bought a majority stake in Hello Sunshine. CNBC reports that those involved with the merger hope to “build an independent entertainment company for the streaming era,” citing the battle for streaming subscribers and services who are “hungry for new content.”
WSJ reports that Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine CEO Sarah Harden will continue to oversee the company’s daily operations and are slated to join the board when it’s formed. Witherspoon herself confirmed the news, telling the WSJ that the buyout “will enable us to tell even more entertaining, impactful, and illuminating stories about women’s lives globally.”
“This is a meaningful move in the world because it really means that women’s stories matter,” she shared.
Two entertainment executives at the helm of the buyout, Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs (formerly execs at Disney), opened up a bit more about their future plans for the company in a press release announcing the news. They shared, “Our platform will foster a uniquely creator-friendly culture that gives elite talent the resources they need to create and capitalize on their best, most inventive work. We look forward to backing Reese, Sarah, and their world-class team as they continue to produce and identify dynamic, engaging content for years to come.”
Witherspoon founded Hello Sunshine back in 2016 as an extension of her production company, Pacific Standard, which she co-founded four years prior in 2012. The company has produced film and TV offerings across multiple platforms, along with Reese’s Book Club, social media content, and more.
Mayer helped lead the launch of Disney’s streaming service, Disney+, in 2019, so it certainly seems like Witherspoon’s new partners know a thing or two about streaming success. Though Blackstone has been rife with controversy in recent years — including its chairman and CEO, Steven A. Schwarzman, supporting Donald Trump even after the January 6 attack on the Capitol, along with the firm’s former ties to two Brazilian companies that are reportedly linked with deforestation in the Amazon — here’s hoping the buyout will prioritize and elevate marginalized artists, creators, and executives who might not otherwise get an opportunity to work on such a massive platform.