The polls may be close, but showbiz is heavily in favor of Hillary Clinton. That is not surprising. But what is different from previous years is just how lopsided the level of support is. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, entertainment sources contributed $22 million to her campaign and to pro-Clinton super-PACs through Oct. 19, compared with less than $290,000 for Donald Trump.
Part of the disparity is because contributors like Haim Saban, Steven Spielberg, and Jeffrey Katzenberg have donated millions to Priorities USA Action, a pro-Clinton super-PAC that can collect unlimited contributions. But even when her support is measured in direct campaign donations — which cannot exceed $5,400 per person — she still has far greater support: Her campaign collected $6.8 million from showbiz sources, vs. less than $140,000 for Trump.
The Republican nominee did hold two fundraisers in Los Angeles, but they were attended most heavily by supporters from the financial and investment sector. He also got a late start — in May, only after he had secured the GOP nomination — in efforts to court big-money donors in earnest. More recently, he’s come to depend on a bonanza of small contributions.
Some of the more prominent GOP donors of the past were still on the sidelines as of last month. Earlier in the campaign, Jerry Perenchio, the media mogul who once owned Univision and is one of the most prolific of all media industry donors, contributed $3.7 million to a super-PAC backing Carly Fiorina. He also gave to John Kasich, Chris Christie, and a super-PAC backing Jeb Bush, but as of mid-October had given nothing to Trump.
Others who give to Republicans, like Jerry Bruckheimer, Clint Eastwood, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, have sat things out entirely. Schwarzenegger, who is succeeding Trump as the host of “Celebrity Apprentice,” has said he will not vote for him.
By contrast, Clinton’s support across the entertainment industry is widespread. She has received contributions from Disney’s Bob Iger and Alan Horn, Universal’s Jeff Shell and Ron Meyer, Warner Bros.’ Kevin Tsujihara, Paramount’s Brad Grey, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Michael Lynton, and 21st Century Fox’s James Murdoch and Stacey Snider. Jim Gianopulos gave to Clinton before his departure from Fox.
And Clinton got a contribution from a performer who once played her on “Saturday Night Live,” Amy Poehler. She has yet to see a contribution from Kate McKinnon. For that matter, Alec Baldwin, who has been playing Trump, hasn’t given to Clinton either. And he certainly hasn’t given to her rival.