There has always been an express lane from Hollywood Boulevard to Pennsylvania Avenue. In fact, just today, we have stories that House Minority Leader Pelosi is briefing Hollywood stars on her plans to retake the majority in the house. The Oscar nominations this year epitomize the connection between politics and entertainment. In an exciting election year, Hollywood played its part – giving audiences five political films nominated for Best Picture. Most years, the Best Picture race includes at least one political film. But, in and around the Presidential elections, the volume of political content increases.
And, within this year’s Oscar class, and in an election year, we have an opportunity to observe the strong ties between our stars and our leaders. In 2012, Hollywood celebrities took to the campaign trail. A handful of stars spoke at each of the major party conventions, including Best Picture nominee Django Unchained’s supporting actress Kerry Washington. Collectively, the celebrities in Hollywood donated over $4.8 million to various campaigns and public interest groups. One of the leading voices in politics happens to be one of the leading Oscar nominees – Steven Spielberg. In 2012, he donated over $1.2 million to various campaigns – but his lifetime political donations are nearly twice as much. He is joined by Supporting Actress Sally Field and writer Tony Kushner, also staunch political activists.