Hollywood’s power brokers siding with Clinton over Sanders

Hollywood’s power brokers siding with Clinton over Sanders
© Getty Images

Hollywood’s power brokers are almost exclusively siding with Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPaltry wage gains, rising deficits two key tax reform concerns Trump pressed Sessions to fire FBI agents who sent anti-Trump texts: report DNC sues Russia, Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over alleged election interference MORE in the Democratic primary.

Studio players, big-money agents and A-listers like George Clooney are all backing the Democratic presidential front-runner, who has strong connections in the entertainment industry.

“I am not aware of one senior person in Hollywood backing Bernie,” one major Hollywood executive and fundraiser told The Hill.

The Vermont senator does have star power, but it is more on the margins with left-wing celebrities like Susan Sarandon or younger actors such as Ezra Miller.

The big money in L.A. is with Clinton, which mirrors how other Democratic centers of power have also backed the former New York senator, first lady and secretary of State.

Perhaps the leading example of the moguls’ unanimity on Clinton’s candidacy is DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg’s all-in support of her this time around.

Katzenberg — who supported Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPaltry wage gains, rising deficits two key tax reform concerns Throwing some cold water on all of the Korean summit optimism Colorado state lawmakers advance measure to rename highway after Obama MORE in the 2008 Democratic primary — has become a major fundraiser for both Clinton's campaign and Priorities USA Action, a pro-Clinton super-PAC. He and longtime political consultant Andy Spahn have been working the phones all week in advance of Clinton’s fundraiser at Clooney's Studio City house on Saturday.

To be sure, some industry power players may not be overly enthusiastic about Clinton, and some have taken a long time to donate to her campaign.

Still, the mood among the executives is very different this time around than during the Democratic primary in 2008.

Eight years ago, when Hollywood was confronted with a choice between Clinton and Obama, it was as if the San Andreas Fault had moved.

The emotional fissure split open the town — and particularly the moguls who write seven-figure checks to the Washington super-PACs.

In deeply Democratic Beverly Hills and Brentwood Park, where people drop $1 million decorating their guesthouse powder rooms, it was civil war, with neighbors and longtime political allies nearly coming to blows at cocktail parties.

The entertainment industry’s talent is divided this year, too, with some celebrities backing Sanders and others Clinton. But the C-suiters aren’t feeling the Bern.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Sanders has raised $653,840 so far from the entertainment industry, while Clinton has pulled in more than $9 million, including million-dollar donations to Priorities USA by Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and Haim Saban.

Much of Clinton’s success stems from the longtime relationships she and her husband, former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonWith Ryan out, let’s blow up the process for selecting the next Speaker When Barbara Bush praised Bill Clinton, and Clinton praised the man she loved Meet the Democratic sleeper candidate gunning for Senate in Nebraska MORE, enjoy in Hollywood.

As Los Angeles political adviser and strategist Donna Bojarsky puts it: “The Clintons have 35 years of relationships out here.”

“Not only was Bill beloved in this community, they’ve also known Hillary for all these years. So are you going to hire someone you barely have any relationship with? Or are you going to hire someone whose family you’ve known for so many years?” she said.  “Even in Hollywood, peoples’ 20-year-olds might be for Bernie, but with age also comes the wisdom of what you really need in a president.”

On the talent side of the equation, the Sanders-Clinton split tends to follow predictable lines, with the senator’s supporters drawn from the Hollywood Democrats’ left wing, including Mark Ruffalo, Sarandon, Sarah Silverman, Jeremy Piven, Gaby Hoffmann, Danny DeVito and Daniel Craig.

Clinton’s backers — more numerous by far — include many of the party’s long-term Democratic stalwarts, including Morgan Freeman, Barbra Streisand, Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep.

Creative Artists Agency agent Michael Kives, a top bundler for Clinton, predicts that ultimately the town will rally around Clinton once she secures the nomination.

“We’ll all come together,” he said. “And sooner than later. I’m not worried about that.”