President Barack Obama is starting to lure Hollywood donors back into the fold after his decision earlier this year to side with Internet companies over an antipiracy measure angered the entertainment industry and left many of them slow to open their checkbooks.
Actor George Clooney said Saturday that a fundraising dinner at his Los Angeles home on May 10 would raise $10 million for the president's re-election, the largest amount ever for a single Obama campaign event. If true, that would exceed the sum the Obama campaign raised from the entertainment industry in the 2008 presidential race.
Obama campaign officials said Sunday that Mr. Clooney's number may be inflated, but they concurred that the event, priced at $40,000 a person, is likely to be lucrative. And it may signal that Mr. Obama successfully mollified dismayed Hollywood executives when he personally called them in the wake of the January antipiracy decision.
"I believe the next event we have out here will be among the most successful events that we've had for him or anybody," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. and dinner co-host.
"All I know is it's the biggest fundraiser so far to date-ever," Mr. Clooney said in an interview at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner Saturday. He sat close to the head table as a guest of Time magazine and chatted with the president, who greeted him with a "Hey, George."
"Right now we've raised about $10 million for the fundraiser, which is about double anything that's ever been done before," Mr. Clooney said.