Katzenberg Cohosts $10M Obama Fundraiser

Under SEC investigation for studio's dealings with China


DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, whose company is under investigation for allegedly bribing Chinese officials in a deal orchestrated by the White House, will cohost a May 10 fundraiser for President Obama expected to raise $10 million.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Actor George Clooney said Saturday that a fundraising dinner at his Los Angeles home on May 10 would raise $10 million for the president’s re-election, the largest amount ever for a single Obama campaign event. If true, that would exceed the sum the Obama campaign raised from the entertainment industry in the 2008 presidential race.

Obama campaign officials said Sunday that Mr. Clooney’s number may be inflated, but they concurred that the event, priced at $40,000 a person, is likely to be lucrative. And it may signal that Mr. Obama successfully mollified dismayed Hollywood executives when he personally called them in the wake of the January antipiracy decision.

“I believe the next event we have out here will be among the most successful events that we’ve had for him or anybody,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.  and dinner co-host.

DreamWorks Animation and several other major Hollywood studios recently secured a deal to expand U.S. film presence in China. The agreement was announced just days after Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping held an extensive meeting with Obama in Washington, followed by the Chinese Vice President’s trip to Los Angeles to meet with Katzenberg.

DreamWorks also negotiated a $2 billion deal with the Chinese government for the company to build a production studio in Shanghai.

At the time, Katzenberg’s spokeswoman Jennifer Lin told the Free Beacon there had been no collusion between the White House and Katzenberg. However, the New York Times reported that Vice President Joe Biden was personally involved in the negotiations.