EXCLUSIVE: Senator Kamala Harris has long been tight with Hollywood, and yesterday Tinseltown’s biggest donors handed over some very big bucks to the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee.
In a virtual fundraiser put together by Ryan Murphy, Disney TV Studios boss Dana Walden, PR ace Chrisette Hudlin and Laura Shell, California’s junior senator raked in over $8 million for her and Joe Biden’s poll leading White House bid.
Announced on August 27, the event put dough in the purse of the Biden Victory Fund, a joint committee of Joe Biden’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state parties. Going into the final 59 days before the election, yesterday’s fundraiser is one of the biggest hauls that Biden and his running mate Harris has raised this season. Featuring both ex-VP Biden and Sen. Harris, a Jeffrey Katzenberg and George Clooney co-hosted virtual Hollywood fundraiser on August 21 raised $7 million for the Biden Victory Fund.
Held over Zoom, the September 3 fundraiser was hosted by Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, JJ Abrams and Katie McGrath, Harris’ close friend Chrisette Hudlin & her Emmy telecast producing husband Reginald Hudlin, Donna Langley and Ramin Shamshiri, Chuck Lorre, Dayna Bochco, Trisha Cardoso, Lee Daniels and Jahil Fisher, Vanessa and William Getty, Jay Roach and Bangles singer Susanna Hoffs, Laura Shell, and Dana and Matt Walden.
The Politician EP Murphy and his husband David Miller chaired yesterday’s event, which had ticket prices starting at $10,000 per person, and rising to $500,000 for co-chairs. Starting around 1:30 PM PT, the fundraiser saw long time Dem deep pocket donor Murphy called Harris’ leadership “a balm in these troubled times.” The American Horror Story chief went on to further praise the barrier shattering Harris, who is the first woman of color on the national ticket of one of America’s major parties. “You are the future, you’re a leader who makes tough calls,” Murphy declared near the beginning of the event.
Including a conversation moderated by attorney and former Congressman Bakari Sellers, the Thursday afternoon digital gathering was full of more green light power and A-list names than Ted Sarandos’ Christmas card list.
Emmy nominated Black Monday star Don Cheadle and Bridgid Coulter, Amazon Studios boss Jennifer Salke and husband and Touchstone Television’s Bert were among the co-hosts with Bela Bajaria and Doug Prochilo, Carol and Shelby Bonnie, Lauren and Jason Blum. They were joined by Timothy Disney, Leah and Sam Fischer, Dan Fogelman and Cait Thompson, Julia Franz & ICM Partners’ Chris Silbermann, Sheril and Bob Freedman, Inara George and Jake Kasdan, Leslie and Clifford Gilbert-Lurie, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Jon Vein, and Alicia Goldstein.
With over 234 participants on the virtual event, including Kate Hudson and This Is Us’ Sterling K. Brown, additional co-hosts included Maria and Jeff Harleston, Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali, Yasmine and Matt Johnson, Timothy Leiweke, Candace and Steven McKeever, Sarah Min and Matthew Pincus, Dawn and Mark Ostroff, Nancy and Stephen Paul, Angela Robinson Witherspoon, Shannon and Michael Rotenberg, Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Jamie Patricof, Molly Sims and Netflix’s Scott Stuber, Andrea Troyer and Game of Thrones EP D.B. Weiss, Stacy Twilley and Michael Kong and Laura Wasserman
With Hollywood traditionally one of the most lucrative ATMs for Democrats, the Biden-Harris campaign has been especially aggressive at tapping showbiz support as a draw for the virtual fundraisers. Next week, on Tuesday, Harris will headline another reception, with Billy Porter and Padma Lakshmi as hosts. Tickets start at $1,000 per person and rise to $100,000, according to an invite.
Fighting Donald Trump and the very healthy bank accounts of the former Celebrity Apprentice host’s re-election effort, the Biden-Harris campaign raised over $364 million last month alone. Sen. Harris’ Hollywood event was one of a trio of virtual fundraisers the ex-Golden State AG had on her schedule in the Democrats’ hope to beat that August haul this month.