Warner Bros. Chief Stepping Down in Response to Sex Scandal Donated to Prominent Dems

Kevin Tsujihara (L) and Sandy Tsujihara (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
March 18, 2019

Kevin Tsujihara, the beleaguered former chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment, donated to prominent Democrats in recent election cycles, including several 2020 presidential candidates. Tsujihara stepped down from his role atop the entertainment giant on Monday because of claims he promised roles to an actress in exchange for sex.

WarnerMedia began investigating the former chairman and CEO's behavior earlier this month after a report detailing text messages between him and British actress Charlotte Kirk suggested an inappropriate relationship existed, the Associated Press reports.

Tsujihara has donated to many Democratic candidates during the last two election cycles, including current presidential candidates Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), and Kamala Harris (Calif.), election records show. In 2012 and 2013, he donated to Harris's attorney general reelection campaign.

Tsujihara also gave to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio), who considered but chose to forgo a 2020 presidential run, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Although he has mostly supported Democrats, Tsujihara also give money to former Republican congressman Bob Goodlatte in 2013.

Tsujihara announced his decision to step down "after lengthy introspection, and discussions with [WarnerMedia chief executive] John Stankey over the past week," he told staff in a memo.

"It has become clear that my continued leadership could be a distraction and an obstacle to the company’s continued success," Tsujihara wrote. "The hard work of everyone within our organization is truly admirable, and I won’t let media attention on my past detract from all the great work the team is doing."

His lawyer, Bert H. Deixler, stated Tsujihara "had no direct role in the hiring of this actress."

The Free Beacon reported last week that several Democratic donors were among those charged in a nationwide fraudulent college admissions conspiracy. Actress Felicity Huffman has donated thousands of dollars to Harris since 2016. Gordon Caplan, co-chairman of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, gave thousands to Clinton during her 2016 presidential campaign and also donated to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.). Robert Flaxman, the owner of Crown Realty and Development, and Agustin Huneeus, a California winemaker, also donated to Clinton.