Clearly, top Hollywood executives feel burned that the Obama White House has stopped backing their very controversial chosen measures to fight content piracy. But enough to drop their reelection support?
Nikki Finke reported at Deadline.com at 3:20 p.m. that "I’ve learned that Hollywood studio chiefs individually and as a group are drawing a line in the sand on the piracy issue with the Obama re-election campaign and refusing to give any more donations." She also said there's a defection by high-level donors "pulling out of major fundraisers planned over the next few days and won’t participate in any more headed by Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (whom they see as in the pocket of the Internet giants like Google)." Finke says also that Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos,who is married to top Obama Hollywood liaison Nicole Avant, "sent a personal plea to the Hollywood studio chiefs over the weekend begging them to continue supporting the Obama re-election campaign."
But wait. Two hours later, the Hollywood Reporter's Tina Daunt posted a story, clearly responding to Finke, shooting down the idea of a collective action by moguls. "The [anti-piracy] acts are very important to us, but no one has discussed a boycott," an unnamed studio executive is quoted saying. "This is a personal issue for everyone. Some will support Obama. Some won't." Andy Spahn, the political aide to Jeffrey Katzenberg, said the DreamWorks Animation exec will continue to raise money for Obama, "although disappointed with the White House statement on SOPA."
Vice President Joe Biden will provide the first test when he comes Friday for a breakfast fundraiser in Beverly Hills. First Lady Michelle Obama is due at a Jan. 31 fundraiser at the Avant-Sarandos home. Then Obama himself is coming back to Los Angeles for a series of fundraisers on Feb. 15, Daunt reports.
At Variety, Ted Johnson took the middle ground tonight. "Whether studio unhappiness translates into a discernable [sic] dent in fundraising remains to be seen. But there has been a traditional disconnect between the motive for giving at the corporate level and the reasons for contributing in the broader creative community."
Also this: Directors Guild and SAG defend the two bills in Congress and condemn the protests led by tech companies.
Photos: LA Observed