Matt Damon’s criticism of President Obama was enough to trigger a wave of stories of how show biz is cooling on the White House, like those here, here and here. The caveat is that Damon has expressed his unhappiness for some time, along with other celebrities, and the White House surely is banking on enthusiasm to pick up once supporters see the field of GOP contenders. The true test, perhaps the only measurement, will be in the money, and the extent to which the industry opens its wallets for Obama’s reelection bid.
Also this week, Mike Huckabee seemed to criticize Natalie Portman for being pregnant, but it was, in his words, the “Hollywood media” that is making it look like an attack. But Huck can explain further from his perch at Fox News, because he wasn’t among the list of 2012 possibilities to make the network’s cut of those they deem as really serious. Or serious enough to have launched a website to announce that you may possibly be exploring the possibility.
Chris Dodd made it official that he’d be Hollywood’s next chief lobbyist, even if technically he’ll be precluded from actual lobbying. He called the post of MPAA chief an “exciting job with tremendous implications for the country,” while studios moguls hope that the pick will restore lost luster.
Also: Mickey Rooney brought his tale of elder abuse to Capitol Hill…the Writers Guild of America lined up behind the protesters in Wisconsin…President Obama awarded National Medals of the Arts…Frank Rich jumped from the New York Times to New York magazine…and the Oscars had a dose of politics, but it wasn’t enough to change critics’ minds that the whole affair was too dull.