President Obama's connection to Hollywood has brought in tens of millions of dollars for his campaign and that of many Democrats and boosted the president's profile with endorsements from top stars. But a "Bacchanalian" party at the Sundance Film Festival isn't the kind of Hollywood the White House might want to be associated with.
According to The Los Angeles Times, major Democratic donors were involved in a controversial, sexed-up movie festival party. "Hollywood's powerful Creative Artists Agency on Sunday night took festival revelry in an unexpectedly bawdy direction, as Sundance guests mingled with lingerie-clad women pretending to snort prop cocaine, erotic dancers outfitted with sex toys and an Alice in Wonderland look-alike performing a simulated sex act on a man in a rabbit costume."
What the Times left out is that the Creative Artists Agency is a major source for Democratic contributions - more than $650,000 since the 2008 election cycle, according to Opensecrets.org. The firm, founded by A-lister Michael Ovitz, remains quite influential in Hollywood. Although Ovitz left, Fortune magazine reported in 2007 that "a new team has rebuilt CAA into a diversified firm that may now wield even more clout than it did in the Ovitz era."
According to the Times, even CAA clients were upset by the event. "Some CAA clients found the party so shocking that they said it made them embarrassed to be associated with the agency. 'I said to my agent, "Is this how you want to brand yourself? Pole dancers? Really?"' said Oscar-nominated writer-director Naomi Foner." The firm's "client roster includes A-list stars such as Will Smith, Meryl Streep and Steven Spielberg."
Opensecrets.org listed $531,191 as a total for the group's contributions during the past three election cycles. But many of those donations were not properly classified under the title "Creative Artists Agency." Managing Partner Kevin Huvane, who attended the scandalous event, had $121,275 in contributions listed under other categories, including "CAA" and "CREATIVE ARTS AGENCY."
Hollywood's contributions to the Obama campaign were huge. One May, 2012, fundraiser by actor George Clooney brought in $15 million for Obama. The entertainment community raised another $13 million in October, as the election neared.
Editor's Note: Dan Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.