Obama Donor Breaks Decade-long Oscar Slump With Honorary Award

Jeffrey Katzenberg last received Oscar for role in producing 'Shrek'

February 25, 2013

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg finally broke his decade-long Oscar slump Sunday evening when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded him the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

Katzenberg was bestowed the honor for raising more than $200 million for the Motion Picture and Television Fund that provides financial assistance, health care, and social services for the entertainment community. He received his last Oscar in 2001 for his role in producing the original Shrek.

As President Barack Obama’s de-facto Hollywood liaison, Katzenberg’s prolific fundraising has taken priority over his duties as a Hollywood studio head. He spearheaded Obama’s reelection effort with $3 million in donations to the pro-Obama Super PAC, Priorities USA. The mega-donor bundled more than $2 million for Obama’s 2012 campaign and more than $6.6 million since Obama first run to the White House. At a private fundraiser last spring that netted Obama $15 million for reelection, the president called Katzenberg "an extraordinary friend."

Katzenberg's studio, DreamWorks, is currently being investigated by the SEC over allegations of bribery of Chinese officials.

DreamWorks was founded by Katzenberg, record producer David Geffen and director Steven Speilberg.  Speilberg came away empty-handed Sunday evening, losing both Best Director and Best Picture for his film, Lincoln.