Joe Biden Boosted By Hollywood Donors In Latest Quarter: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Bob Iger And James Murdoch Among Major Contributors

Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event on Tuesday. Patrick Semansky/AP

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign got a big boost in the latest quarter that brought it into closer parity with Donald Trump’s fundraising juggernaut, as the former vice president saw major contributions from a number of industry moguls and media titans.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, who hosted an event for Biden last month, gave $617,800 to the Biden Victory Fund, the joint fund-raising committee set up for the campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state parties. Also giving was Steven Spielberg, who chipped in $250,000, along with his wife, Kate Capshaw, who gave the same amount.

James Murdoch, the son of Rupert Murdoch, and his wife Kathryn each donated $615,000 to the victory fund.

Other contributors included Bob Iger, the executive chairman of The Walt Disney Co., who gave $250,000. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Roy E. Disney who is a documentary filmmaker and social activist, gave $50,000 to the Biden fund.

Biden’s fundraising accelerated during the quarter even as his  events were all virtual because of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a sign that donors have come off the sidelines, as many in the business wanted to wait until the Democratic primary produced a clear front runner. The campaign also has benefited from a polling lead over Trump, albeit there is still a sense of wariness that the margin will tighten come the fall.

Other major donors include Meg Whitman, who gave $505,600; Barry Diller, who gave $250,000; Marta Kauffman, $100,000; Nicole Avant, $100,000; Tom Rothman, $100,000; Rob Friedman, $100,000; Peter Chernin, $50,000; Bryan Lourd, $50,000; Jim Gianopulos, $25,000; Ryan Murphy, $25,000; Harry Sloan and his wife, Florence, who each gave $50,000; and James Costos, $50,000. Mellody Hobson gave $307,800 to a different joint fundraising committee, the Biden Action Fund. Rothman, Gianopulos and Costos hosted Biden at their homes for fundraisers last year.

Rob Reiner, an early supporter of Biden’s campaign, gave $50,000; Larry David gave $15,000 and Drew Carey contributed $25,000.

Among other actors and performers, the Biden Victory Fund drew contributions from Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Alyssa Milano, Shia LaBeouf, Barbra Streisand, Ben Affleck, Dustin Hoffman and Donna Dixon. Others in the entertainment community who donated include Eric Paquette, Kevin Huvane, Paula Wagner, Julie Cohen, Clint Culpepper, Brad Falchuk, Jennifer Salke, Chuck Lorre, Michael Patrick King, Dana Walden and Ricky Strauss.

Meanwhile, David Geffen, a longtime Democratic donor, gave $100,000 to the Lincoln Project, the group formed by anti-Trump Republicans including George Conway, Rick Wilson, Steve Schmidt and John Weaver.

The contributions were made in the three months ending on June 30.

To no surprise, Trump is drawing far less from the entertainment business. One of his bigger donors overall is Marvel Entertainment’s Ike Perlmutter, who gave $575,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, the joint committee of the president’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee.

Biden’s campaign and the DNC raised $282 million in the quarter, compared to $266 million for Trump’s campaign and the RNC.

More to come.

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