You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

As Hillary Clinton Talks Oceans, Showbiz Friends Urge ‘Please Run for President’

Hillary Clinton told Variety that Oceana’s fete at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel was a “very important event,” but as much as she tried to keep the focus on the org’s work in protecting the ocean ecosystem, few others couldn’t help but allude to the prospect that she would run for president.

Speakers at the Oct. 30 event mentioned the prospect of another Clinton in the White House, even if Clinton has said herself that it will be more than a year until she decides. That didn’t stop several people from stopping by her and urging her to run, not the least of which was Harvey Weinstein. Seated next to her at dinner, he introduced the former Secretary of State by praising her work on a host of issues before finishing, “Please run for president.”

“Well, I thought this was about the oceans,” Clinton quipped as she took the stage.

She pointed to the org’s efforts to address ocean garbage dumping, curbing overfishing and gill netting, among other issues, as well as climate change.

“The good news is that if we sensibly manage the oceans we can more than meet the demand for food,” she said, noting how some American fisheries have come back with legislation her husband signed to protect ocean areas.

She singled out a number of figures in the org, including Ted Danson, one of the founders of the American Oceans Campaign, which eventually became Oceana, and his wife Mary Steenburgen. Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless talked of legislation pending in Congress to prevent mislabeling of fish products.

HBO and Richard Plepler were also honored for their commitment to environmental programming, which includes two “Gasland” movies and the upcoming “Saving My Tomorrow: Kids on Climate.  “We are determined to play our small role to make sure these issues are front and center,” he said, humbly.

He, too, evoked some nostalgia for the days of the Clinton White House, recalling a trip and tour of the White House in 1993 he organized with a group of celebrities to premiere the HBO environmental doc “Earth and the American Dream.” Passing the Oval Office, he saw the door ajar and “I boldly pushed the door of the Oval open saying to myself, ‘Why not?'” The president, pouring over briefing books, at first looked a bit incongruous, but then spotted Billy Crystal, Sam Waterston and Christopher Reeve and  said, “Come on in,” Plepler recalled, imitating Clinton’s southern voice.

They spent “at least an hour and a half” chatting with Clinton, before they politely said that he must be busy and they should go.

“If we had not done that, I guarantee you we would still be there,” Plepler quipped.

“One day soon we will return to debut another movie at the White House, and if we’re lucky there will be another President Clinton at the White House,” Plepler said. “And next time I will knock first.”

Clinton’s schedule, more than anything else, is what has fueled speculation that she is more than likely to run. She spent the afternoon at the home of longtime supporter Haim Saban, at a fundraiser for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. Among the 80-or-so present were Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and Nicole Avant, Weinstein and Casey and Laura Wasserman. Next week, she returns to Los Angeles for more events, including another benefit (also at the Beverly Wilshire) for the International Medical Corps.

Asked by Variety why she didn’t just rest from a busy schedule of public events, a fade from view that many expected, Clinton said, “By my standards, I am.”

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Frank Grillo'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Matt Phelps Tapped as President of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo's Warparty

    Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan’s Warparty productikon banner has appointed Matt Phelps president of the company. Phelps will head the Los Angeles office and be responsible for overseeing all film and television projects. “We searched long and hard to find the right fit for Warparty and felt that Matt embodied everything that we were looking [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

  • Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton

    Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton to Head Programming

    Nexstar Media Group has become the nation’s largest owner of TV stations after completing its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. The deal creates a broadcasting colossus with more than 200 stations serving more than 100 markets, although a number of stations will be divested to keep Nexstar in compliance with FCC ownership limits. Nexstar, [...]

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    Judge Sides With Michael Jackson Estate in 'Leaving Neverland' Dispute

    A federal judge is leaning towards granting the Michael Jackson estate’s move to take HBO to arbitration in its dispute over the documentary “Leaving Neverland.” Judge George Wu issued a tentative ruling on Thursday in which he denied HBO’s motion to dismiss the estate’s case. Wu is expected to make the ruling final by the [...]

  • Homecoming

    Peak Storytelling Here as Podcasts, Short Form Ride New Wave

    The concept of peak TV is nothing new. But scratch the surface of original content these days, and it’s no longer about television — from podcasts and short-form video, storytelling itself is at a peak. Thanks to audio, video and other new platform companies including Gimlet, Quibi, Wondery, iHeartMedia and Serial Box, listeners and viewers [...]

  • Patti Smith Cambridge Folk Festival

    Patti Smith Muses Over the Many Ways to Tell a Story

    It’s Sept. 11, and Patti Smith has been thinking a lot about people who died. This is understandable. It is, of course, the 18th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and an annual time of mourning for New York City, the city that Smith adopted as her hometown 50-plus years [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content