Hollywood Democrats are increasingly frustrated with Bernie Sanders’ refusal to bow out of the presidential race, with one industry insider describing the resulting atmosphere within the Thirty-Mile Zone as a “growing hysteria.”
Specifically, Clinton’s Hollywood supporters worry that every minute the Vermont senator insists on staying in the race gives Republicans a leg up.
“There is growing hysteria in Hollywood right now around Donald Trump,” L.A.-based Democratic strategist Donna Bojarsky told TheWrap. “People are terrified of the possibility of him in the White House.”
Tensions in Hollywood have reached fever pitch recently as Sanders and Clinton turn up the volume on their combative rhetoric in a final push to woo California voters ahead of the state’s June 7 primary.
“The notion that he wants to have a bigger voice when it comes to the party’s platform is understandable,” Bojarsky said. “But he hasn’t stopped attacking her.”
While many of Clinton’s Hollywood backers believe Sanders has done an admirable job of steering the Democratic primary race toward a more progressive agenda, they also think it’s time for him to gracefully exit left.
“He could really help build the party and create unity,” said L.A.-based lawyer and longtime Clinton fundraiser Dana Perlman. “Instead, he’s on this Kamikaze mission that does nothing more than feed his ego.”
Meanwhile Sanders supporters insist he has been winning many of the recent primary contests and should continue fighting until one of the candidates secures the 2,383 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.
“People should have the chance to be heard,” Sanders supporter and actress Mimi Kennedy told TheWrap. “That’s the American way. This isn’t the Soviet Union. Let the voters weigh in and then we can reconcile.”
“Hangover” star and Sanders supporter Justin Bartha told TheWrap: “I know many Clinton supporters and none have mentioned that they feel Sanders should drop out. I have only heard this from certain press outlets who are highly incentivized to back Clinton. Bernie has always stated that he is in this for the long haul and has proven his value in this race over and over again. Why not continue to have thoughtful policy debates on real issues between two brilliant, highly qualified leaders? Once we get to the general election, that will most certainly not be the case.”
Adding to the sense of urgency in the Clinton camp is the raft of deep-pocketed Republican donors who have gravitated toward Trump in recent weeks, facilitated by new fundraiser-in-chief investment banker and former Hollywood producer Steven Mnuchin.
Earlier this week, Trump and the Republican National Committee also signed a joint fundraising agreement that allows individual donors to write checks for as much as $449,400.
And last week, billionaire Republican donor Sheldon Adelson pledged $100 million to Trump, according to The New York Times.
“Now Republicans have less infighting while Democrats are seen as having a huge ongoing battle,” Perlman said. “Sanders is not respecting the will of the voters. [Clinton] has more pledged delegates, more superdelegates and more votes than he does. The Democratic side can’t afford putting our country in the hands of Trump.”
That same frustration might finally be getting to Clinton as well. On Thursday, the former secretary of state told CNN’s Chris Cuomo the race for the Democratic nomination is over.
“I will be the nominee for my party, Chris. That is already done in effect. There is no way I won’t be,” she said.
“It’s a drag,” David Schneiderman, the co-owner and founder of Seismic Productions and a prominent Clinton supporter, told TheWrap. “She’s fighting two wars on two fronts and it’s not realistic.”
But Schneiderman says he doesn’t think Hollywood is in panic mode — yet. While things are definitely tense, he said, it’s nothing this city hasn’t seen before at this late stage in
“It will all work itself out in the end,” he said. “It will calm down eventually.”