“Star Wars: Episode IX” director J.J. Abrams and his wife, Katie McGrath, reportedly hosted a party for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) in March at their home in the Pacific Palisades with several Hollywood elites including Shonda Rhimes. The former allegedly not-quite progressive prosecutor also received financial support from several stars, including Ben Affleck, who donated $2,800; Eva Longoria pledged $5,400; Quincy Jones donated $2,800; and Jon Hamm gave $1,000.
Willie Nelson donated $2,800 to fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke. The guitar-wielding centrist Democrat’s campaign also took in $1,850 from Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, $2,800 from Dave Matthews Band violinist Boyd Tinsley, $5,600 from Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, $1,500 from comedian and “Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk, $2,500 from Texas film director Richard Linklater and $350 from “Saturday Night Live” star Cecily Strong.
Bernie Sanders received $2,700 from Danny DeVito, $2,800 from Susan Sarandon, $2,500 from Grammy winning singer Norah Jones, $1,000 from Phish drummer Jonathan Fishman, $500 from “Silicon Valley” star Thomas Middleditch and $1,000 from Foo Fighters guitarist Christopher Shiflett.
South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg received $2,000 from “West Wing” star Bradley Whitford, $250 from “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds, $500 from NFL network broadcaster Rich Eisen gave $250 from “Game of Thrones” executive producer Carolyn Strauss.
“When you talk about Hollywood, yes, we are talking about movie stars and writers and directors, but we are also talking about people with decades of experience with presidential campaigns,” said Yusef Robb, a longtime California political strategist. “Earning support from somebody with a lot of connections in the political world couples with their star power, which people in the chattering classes notice.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.