Thus far, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has raised $13.2 million—the second largest haul of any presidential candidate. But while a majority of that money has come from contributions of less than $100, Hollywood appears to have a love affair with the former California Attorney General too.
The Los Angeles Times reports that luminaries such as directors Stephen Spielberg and J.J. Abrams, actress Eva Longoria Baston, and plenty of other heavy hitters have cut the check to support Harris’ bid for presidency.
Actors and actresses who wrote checks to the Harris campaign during the first three months of the year included Ben Affleck, who gave $2,800; Elizabeth Banks, who donated $5,600; Eva Longoria Baston, who donated $5,400; Alison Pill, who donated $360; Wanda Sykes, who donated $500; Lily Tomlin, who donated $525; and America Ferrera, who donated $250.
Filmmakers and studio executives were similarly supportive of Harris’ presidential bid: Filmmakers J.J. Abrams and Lee Daniels wrote Harris checks of $2,800 and $2,700, respectively. Hollywood fundraiser Jeffrey Katzenberg gave $2,800 to Harris, and former Fox Television Group Chairman Gary Newman gave $2,700.
Harris has done a masterful job of reeling in both traditional contributions and celebrity support for her campaign. While holding statewide office in California, she was strategic in courting donors in Hollywood and has only amplified her efforts since beginning her campaign.
As Politico notes, in February she made a pit stop in Los Angeles for events with David Cooley, CEO and founder of Abbey nightclub, and NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment Group chairman Jeff Shell. In March, she doubled back for another event hosted by actress Katie McGrath.
“She certainly is experienced as an executive, as a district attorney in San Francisco and again as the attorney general,” San Francisco billionaire Doug Goldman said. He previously donated to campaigns for former President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. “I think we would do damn well to elect Kamala Harris.”
“I was very hesitant to get involved. I wanted to pace myself, get that pageant going on and see who would be there,” said Susie Tompkins Buell, the San Francisco-based co-founder of Esprit clothing. She was initially hesitant to openly lend her support to Harris’ campaign. “Then when I saw her at the rollout, I realized she’s what we need right now. We need fierce and we need joy and we need her experience.”