Obama’s Got a Friend at Sony: Studio Leaders Big Donors in Past

There’s a reason Thursday’s fundraiser didn’t happen at Fox; Michael Lynton was an early booster and Amy Pascal gave generously in the past

When President Barack Obama swoops into Sony's Culver City lot Thursday afternoon he'll be arriving on safe ground. 

Sure, the Democratic National Committee had to pay to rent the studio space, a company spokesperson told TheWrap, but there's a reason the president didn't stop by the Fox compound during his Los Angeles jaunt. It's doubtful the Murdoch crew would have rolled out as nice a welcome mat for him. 

Also read: Obama's Back in L.A.: Where Not to Go Today

Sony Pictures Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton was an early Obama booster thanks to his wife Jamie's Chicago connections. Team Lynton hosted a fundraiser for Obama in 2004 when he was running for Senate. 

According to public filings, Lynton donated the maximum $4,600 during Obama's 2008 presidential race. As a reward for his early support, Lynton was part of the Hollywood contingent invited to the president's first State Dinner for India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Also, digging into her pocketbook: Lynton's co-chairman Amy Pascal. The studio chief gave $4,600 during the president's 2008 race. Indeed, the only member of the studio's leadership troika not to give is Jeff Blake. The vice-chairman has targeted most of his political giving to the Motion Picture Assn. of America. 

Other bold-faced names at Sony who have been Obama backers in the past include former Production Chief Matt Tolmach and Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad, both of whom gave $4,600 during the last presidential election.