Hollywood A-listers flock to support Hillary Clinton, while Bernie Sanders gains ground with show business' far left liberals. John Russell reports.
In famously liberal Hollywood, it's a race between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for A-list support. And while Sanders has garnered some vocal backers from show business' far left liberals, Clinton has far outpaced the Vermont senator in fundraising and has a deep line-up of stars and top executives among her backers. SOUNDBITE, Steven Ross, historian and author of "Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics," saying (English): "These people carry some weight. And what their endorsement does, I believe, is that it says to a voter, 'if somebody I admire admires this candidate, I will pay attention to them and that is, to my mind, the key to a celebrity endorsement is to get attention paid to candidates." Hollywood actors, studio executives have donated nearly 8.5 million dollars (USD) to Clinton's campaign. A pair of Clinton fundraisers held by actor George Clooney this month, at which tickets went for as much as 350,000 per couple, is not included in that total, but were reported by Deadline Hollywood to have raised an additional 15 million. By contrast, Sanders' - who called Clooney's events obscene - has raised about 1 million from entertainment industry donors through March 31. SOUNDBITE, Steven Ross, historian and author of "Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics," saying (English): "I think a lot of people pragmatically think that Hillary really has a much better chance of winning and a much better chance of governing effectively than Bernie and so they're going to sort of bet on the blue chip stocks, so to say. But then you have a good number of Hollywood, particularly younger Hollywood, Sarah Silverman, people like this, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are going for Bernie." But it is the celebrity backers who generate headlines for a candidate, which is sometimes worth more than even their hefty financial contributions.