Home US How Hollywood titans are turning on Biden as big donors say they have ‘immense respect’ for him – but the stakes are now too high, further increasing pressure on the ailing president

How Hollywood titans are turning on Biden as big donors say they have ‘immense respect’ for him – but the stakes are now too high, further increasing pressure on the ailing president

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Abigail Disney, a well-known liberal philanthropist, has vowed to withhold all funding for Biden's campaign.

Typically reliable Democratic Party donors in Hollywood are holding off on their money until President Joe Biden is replaced as the head of the presidential ticket in the wake of the aging commander in chief’s disastrous performance in last month’s debate.

Biden, 81, regularly lost focus and trailed off mid-sentence when faced with a typically strong performance from his Republican rival, former President Donald Trump, during their showdown on CNN.

Last week, Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings, who has already donated $100,000 this election cycle, and Disney heiress Abigail Disney, who has donated as much as $635,000, made headlines because they were among the first to announce they would stop funding until Biden steps down.

Now, more entertainment bigwigs are making similar moves. Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof, who has also donated $100,000, wrote an op-ed for Deadline in which he made clear he would no longer fund a Biden-led campaign.

In an email to The Los Angeles Times, Lindelof was adamant that despite his “immense respect” for Biden, the risks posed by another Trump presidency meant the stakes were simply too high.

Abigail Disney, a well-known liberal philanthropist, has vowed to withhold all funding for Biden’s campaign.

Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof spoke of his respect for Biden in a recent op-ed, but argues the aging Democrat should step aside.

Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof spoke of his respect for Biden in a recent op-ed, but argues the aging Democrat should step aside.

Media mogul Barry Diller has said he will no longer support the Democratic Party's presidential campaign with Biden at the top of the ticket.

Media mogul Barry Diller has said he will no longer support the Democratic Party’s presidential campaign with Biden at the top of the ticket.

Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings was one of the first billionaires to pull funding from Biden's campaign in the wake of the CNN debate

Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings was one of the first billionaires to pull funding from Biden’s campaign in the wake of the CNN debate

“For me, it’s not about the ability to govern, it’s about the ability to WIN,” he told the newspaper.

Media mogul Barry Diller, who contributed about $150,000 this cycle, also said: Ankle that he would no longer fund Biden’s campaign. Diller, known for his roles on Fox and USA Television, is married to designer Diane Von Furstenberg.

But one key figure, Andy Spahn, known for his role as an adviser to Hollywood’s richest people on how to donate to liberal causes, is calling for calm.

“Everyone needs to take a breather. This will be resolved soon,” he told The LA Times.

Hollywood super-agent Ari Emanuel alluded to the trend at an event in Colorado last week.

Emanuel said most of his wealthy friends are focusing on the Senate and Congress when it comes to donations. He then blamed the Democratic Party for the chaos created.

“(Biden) said he would run for one term, and he’s running to restore democracy. Then he runs for a second term, that’s the first nonsense, as he would say. He and his colleagues have told us that he’s been healthy for over a year,” Emanuel said, via The Hollywood Reporter.

“I had a father who died at 92, but I took his car away from him at 81, and for me it was a very simple test. If you were driving from downtown Beverly Hills to Malibu, would you want Biden to do it at night? Would you want Trump to do it at night?”

“If the answer is neither, then you cannot possibly run a $27 trillion enterprise called the United States,” he ranted.

Biden has maintained he will stay in the race despite mounting pressure.

Biden has maintained he will stay in the race despite mounting pressure.

In contrast, the Trump campaign continues to raise money hand over fist, reporting $331 million in the second quarter of 2024.

That figure exceeds the $264 million that Biden’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee reported raising during the same period.

Trump’s total includes $111.8 million the campaign says it raised in June. That sum is less than the $127 million Biden reported raising last month, which includes more than $33 million on and after the debate day.

But the Trump campaign reports it ended the quarter with $284.9 million in cash on hand, compared with $240 million reported by Biden.

Meanwhile, the granddaughter of Roy Disney, co-founder of the Walt Disney Corporation, has often made noise for her liberal politics despite her wealth, believed to be around $120 million.

“I intend to stop making contributions to the party unless Biden is replaced at the top of the ticket. This is realism, not disrespect. Biden is a good man and has served his country admirably, but the stakes are too high,” she said in a statement.

The announcement by Disney, 64, comes just a day after Reed Hastings became one of the first liberal megadonors to turn off the spigot until the president steps aside.

“If Biden does not withdraw, the Democrats will lose. I am absolutely sure of that. The consequences of defeat will be truly dire,” she continued.

Disney believes the “excellent” Vice President Kamala Harris is more than capable of leading the ticket.

“If Democrats would tolerate any of his perceived flaws even a tenth as much as Biden’s have (and let’s not kid ourselves about the place of race and gender in that inequity) and if Democrats can find a way to stop arguing and unite around her, we can win this election by a landslide,” she said.

Disney’s gifts have been generous toward the party during the Trump and Biden eras.

He has donated to PACs affiliated with Biden and Democrats over the past decade totaling at least $635,000, according to CNBC.

However, a Biden campaign official told DailyMail.com that Disney has not donated to the campaign or the Democratic National Committee since 2020.

Disney is not alone as the blows keep coming for Biden, who infuriated Democratic governors at an emergency meeting Wednesday night, where he claimed he wanted to stop working after 8 p.m. to preserve his waning energy, according to CNN.

A group of wealthy donors is also secretly plotting to start Next Generation PAC, a $50 million to $100 million effort to support a Democratic candidate not named Joe Biden, according to New York Times.

Next Generation PAC, founded by cryptocurrency billionaire Mike Novogratz, will hold onto its money until Biden steps down and hand it over to his replacement on the ticket. If he doesn’t drop out of the race, they will focus on Democrats on the lower ticket, but not Biden.

While the committee has not filed its candidacy with the FEC, the Biden campaign has reportedly heard about it and has tried to convince its supporters to stop doing so.

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