One of President Barack Obama’s most loyal fundraising families is funding "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart’s first foray into film directing.
Gigi Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt fortune, will finance and produce Stewart’s directorial debut, Rosewater. The film is based on the true story of a former Iranian political prisoner arrested after appearing on "The Daily Show." Stewart will take a 12-week leave of absence from his satirical news show to shoot the film, according to the New York Times:
Rosewater will cost an estimated $30 million to $40 million to make, with financing coming from Gigi Pritzker’s Odd Lot Entertainment. Scott Rudin; Ms. Pritzker, the Hyatt heiress; and Mr. Stewart are producing the film. Casting is still in its early stages; 60 to 80 people will ultimately be involved, and shooting could begin overseas as soon as June.
The Pritzkers are one of the nation’s wealthiest families with a net worth estimated at nearly $20 billion. They have used that money to become some of the most reliable Democratic donors in the nation.
Gigi Pritzker donated $50,000 to Obama’s 2008 inauguration, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Her Chicago-based siblings have provided Obama and the Democrats even more.
Linda Pritzker ranked just behind liberal financier George Soros in donations to controversial liberal 527 groups in the 2006 election, contributing more than $2.2 million.
The source of the family’s enormous wealth, the Pritzker Realty Group, pumped nearly $40,000 into the 2012 campaign, focusing mostly on preserving the Democratic Senate majority.
The Hyatt chain has come under fire from labor leaders for paying its employees low wages.
Stewart and "The Daily Show" also have come under fire in recent years for having a selective sense of humor. John Oliver will fill in for Stewart during his summer leave, the Times reports.