Joe Biden persuaded Chinese President Xi Jinping to forge business ties with Hollywood power players, and let them into the Chinese market.
There was Jeffrey Katzenberg, then the head of DreamWorks Animation, dining alongside Xi, the then-vice president of China, at a State Department welcome lunch in Washington. And there he was again, standing just behind Xi, then-Gov. Jerry Brown and then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at a Lakers game in Los Angeles. Katzenberg was hanging out in a nearby hallway with Disney CEO Robert Iger to provide last-minute counsel as Biden closed a deal in which China committed to considerably expand its market for American films.
On the final day of Xi’s visit, Dreamworks announced Xi had signed off on the company’s deal — the launching of Oriental DreamWorks, a $330-million joint venture with Chinese companies to develop and distribute animated films in China.
His deep ties to studio executives and decades-long advocacy for their agenda has helped cement Biden’s support even as it may also open him to criticism for too cozy a relationship with big donors.
Biden is returning to Hollywood this week for another round of fundraisers, including the second Biden event co-hosted by Katzenberg and leaders of several major studios. Biden’s first Southern California fundraiser, which Katzenberg co-hosted in May, netted more than $700,000 in one night.
“Joe was our champion inside the White House,” said former Sen. Christopher Dodd, who led the Motion Picture Association of America for much of the Obama era.
As Joe Biden leads the 2020 Democratic polls, progressives continue to showcase how closely aligned he is with Big money liberal donors in Hollywood.
H/T: LA Times