The New York Times reported this morning that WME-IMG chief Ari Emanuel is meeting with President-elect Donald Trump today at Trump’s New Jersey golf course. That meeting is happening as we speak, but while the Times said it was unclear whether a cabinet post would be a possibility, insiders say the chances of Emanuel materializing as part of the new administration are about as small as Trump showing up for a Hamilton matinee.
While the politically active Hollywood majority is still in hangover mode since Trump was declared President-elect because of the Electoral College results, Emanuel simply wanted to reach out to Trump (a former client before he became a political candidate who later sold the Miss Universe pageant to WME/IMG) and express his concerns while Trump is still forming his administration, maybe finding some common ground. (Also meeting with Trump today: BET founder Robert Johnson).
Emanuel could get some blowback though, down to the fact that WME reps both Hamilton and its creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. A lifelong Democrat who voted for and supported Hillary Clinton, Emanuel was fully staked in the Barack Obama administration and saw his brothers Rahm and Ezekiel both help form the health care initiatives commonly called Obamacare.
Today’s meeting makes sense though: Trump is going to be president, after all, and Hollywood will need to find some common ground with him. Judging by the Hamilton audience and cast reaction to incoming veep Mike Pence, and the vociferousness of protesters I saw yesterday outside Trump’s Fifth Avenue residence, any thaw is going to take both time and a concerted effort by the Trump Administration to prove his team will be more tolerant and inclusive than their campaign rhetoric indicated.