You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bernie Sanders, Seth MacFarlane Team Up for Hollywood Fundraiser

Bernie Sanders appeared before hundreds of supporters who filled the Avalon nightclub in Hollywood on Wednesday, with entertainer Seth MacFarlane endorsing the insurgent candidate and introducing him onstage.

Sanders focused the early part of his speech on income inequality and what he characterized as a “rigged” economy against the middle and working class.

He also decried the way that politics has been covered, in the media and elsewhere, “like it were a baseball game or a soap opera.”

He said that if he “slipped on a banana peel leaving here, it would be on the front page.”

“If I were standing here tonight making some viscious attack against Hillary Clinton or anybody else, it would be a front-page story,” Sanders said. “But if you talk about why the middle class is disappearing as almost all the income and wealth go to the top 1%, not a big story. So what the political revolution is is forcing a debate, not about trivia, but about real issues.”

MacFarlane said that he was particularly impressed by a response that Sanders gave at Tuesday night’s debate. Asked what was the country’s greatest national security threat, Sanders answered climate change.

“Senator Sanders was the only candidate on that stage who gave the correct answer: climate change. Of all our biggest challenges, social inequality, healthcare, this one is the one that must go immediately to the front of the line. This is the only one with a non-negotiable timetable.”

“While it would be way funnier if Trump won, it would be far better for the health of the country if Bernie Sanders was the next president,” MacFarlane said.

MacFarlane also noted that while Republicans have been great about demonizing the term “socialist,” it was Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal that reined in some of the excesses of capitalism. Interspersing his remarks with quips, including one about Bill Cosby, he also said that Sanders “has removed my trepidation from saying aloud that capitalism and Democratic socialism, that not-so-scary word, can and should coexist.”

The event, with about 1,100 people attending, was a low dollar fundraiser where attendees paid $25 per person.

Among those who are backing Sanders is Yosi Sergant, the communications specialist who in 2008 organized artists for Barack Obama, including Shepard Fairey to create the famous “Hope” poster.

“We’ve had an amazing run with Obama. Obama has pushed forward practical progressive policies in a tremendous way, but we’ve also faced tremendous opposition,” he said. He said that Sanders is a candidate who is “bold enough to push through the deadlock that is in D.C.” and move the country forward.

Earlier in the day, Sanders taped an appearance on “The Ellen Show,” set to air on Thursday, in which he gamely answered her lightning round of questions.

“Have you ever been in handcuffs?” host Ellen DeGeneres asked.

The audience laughed.

“I don’t know exactly what you mean by that. I was,” he said. “I take it to mean, ‘Was I ever arrested by the police?’ When I was young, I was involved in a civil rights demonstration.”

Sanders also did a dance move, as is expected of her guests.

Later on Wednesday evening, Sanders attended another fundraiser at the Beverly Hills home of Syd and Linda Leibovitch, with tickets starting at $250. About 300 people attended, raising about $150,000, according to a pool report. This was only Sanders’ ninth traditional fundraiser, and only the third held in a private home, with the bulk being raised online.

With valet parking, wine and cocktails served and the rock band America playing in the backyard, Sanders joked about the “proletariat” home.

“The truth is there are many people in this country who have money but also believe in social justice,” he said.

Sanders is scheduled to appear on “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Friday.


Seth MacFarlane speaks at the Bernie Sanders fundraiser in Hollywood. Photo by Rob Latour/REX Shutterstock.

More Scene

  • Laurie Metcalf, John Lithgow'Hillary and Clinton'

    Why John Lithgow Worried About Starring in Broadway's 'Hillary and Clinton'

    When Lucas Hnath first conceived of “Hillary and Clinton” in 2008, he was writing for and about a very different America. Now, a total reimagining of the show has made its way to Broadway with Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in the titular roles. At the opening on Thursday night, the cast and creatives talked [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Took 12 Years to Get to Broadway, but It's More Relevant Than Ever

    When “Hadestown” was first staged as a tiny, DIY theater project in Vermont, those involved could never have predicted that it was the start of a 12-year journey to Broadway — or how painfully relevant it would be when it arrived. At Wednesday night’s opening at the Walter Kerr Theatre, the cast and creatives discussed [...]

  • Mick Jagger

    Mick Jagger Makes First Post-Surgery Appearance at Rolling Stones Ballet Premiere

    Rock legend Mick Jagger made his first public appearance post-heart surgery on Thursday night to catch a glimpse of the world premiere of the Rolling Stones ballet “Porte Rouge.” “I hope you are going to enjoy this wonderful new ballet, and, of course, the music,” the frontman declared in a pre-recorded message to the audience [...]

  • Adam Driver appears at the curtain

    Adam Driver on Starring in 'Burn This' for a Second Time

    The Hudson Theatre’s new production of “Burn This” marks its first Broadway revival since it premiered on the Great White Way in 1987, but Adam Driver is no stranger to the work. He starred as Pale in a Juilliard production of the Lanford Wilson drama when he was still a student — and only now, [...]

  • PMC Event Rome

    Film, Fashion, Formula E Mix at Rome E-Prix Bash

    Film, fashion and Formula E auto-racing fused during a dinner and celebration of the Rome E-Prix on Thursday at the Palazzo Dama by the Piazza del Popolo in the heart of the Eternal City.  Guests mingled and sipped cocktails as hors d’oeuvres were passed around in a former home of the Italian nobility with conversation [...]

  • Katy Perry, Diane von Furstenberg, Arianna

    Katy Perry and Anita Hill Honored at the DVF Awards

    Katy Perry was among the honorees at the 10th Annual DVF Awards on Thursday night. The singer was recognized for her advocacy work with both UNICEF and the LGBTQ community. “Music has opened the doors for so many opportunities for me,” she said while accepting the inspiration award. “The ability to meet people and champion [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content