Cornered in the face of possible impeachment, California Governor Gavin Newsom turned to left-leaning Hollywood directors and actors to contribute large sums of money to his political campaign.
According to the California Secretary of State’s Office, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings contributed $3 million to the Political Action Committee defending Newsom; while the Entertainment Software Association contributed $50,000; Paramount Pictures handed over $40,000 and Motion Picture Association spent $10,000 in the effort to prevent his recall.
A Hollywood Reporter report revealed that Newsom aides quietly asked Reed Hastings, Steven Spielberg and other moguls to help mobilize Democrats to prevent the governor’s impeachment on Sept. 14.
“Newsom aides have reached out to several prominent celebrities including Snoop Dogg, urging the rapper to tweet to his 19.2 million followers his disapproval of Republican radio talk show host Larry Elder, who has emerged as a leading candidate to replace Newsom,” the Hollywood news outlet notes.
Newsom has also received support on social networks from singer John Legend who on August 23 called on Californians to vote “NO”, while comedian George Lopez also did the same.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Newsom leveraged “his network of Hollywood mega-donors” to raise more than $1 million through a recent Zoom that was hosted by industry standouts Jeffrey Katzenberg, Casey Wasserman, Andrew Hauptman and Van Fletcher.
In May, Netflix’s Reed Hastings also donated $3 million to the Political Action Committee against Newsom’s recall, cementing it as the leading power donor within the California political scene.
“It’s all about reaching the lower-propensity voters, and that group is largely made up of younger people,” political consultant Nathan Ballard, a former Newsom adviser, told the Hollywood Reporter.
Newsom faces criticism for imposing strict confinement measures during the pandemic, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that his restrictions undermined religious freedom.
Many Californians also blame him for hypocrisy after the governor attended a dinner at the French Laundry in violation of his own rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
California voters already have ballots in the mail to decide whether or not to recall the Democratic governor. In order for the recall to become effective, it will require more than 50% of the votes in favor of Newsom no longer being California’s governor.