This year’s Academy Awards’ official theme may have been music and movies, but there was also an unofficial theme — celebrities and politics.
According to OpenSecrets.org, if Washington had given out Oscars, the winners might have been (slightly) different.
With a combined total of more than $3.6 million in donations to Democrats over the past 12 years, Hollywood continues its historical association with that party. Amounts of the donations vary, but many nominees across major categories contributed to Democratic political campaigns in some way.
Steven Spielberg, one of this year’s Best Director nominees for ‘Lincoln,” leads the pack with more than $2.7 million in donations from 1990 to 2012. More than half of this sum was accounted for in the last election alone — Spielberg donated a combined total of $1.1 million to Priorities USA Action, an Obama super PAC, and smaller sums to various congressional campaigns and the Democratic National Committee.
Director/producer Ben Affleck and producer George Clooney of Best Picture winner “Argo” have also given to Democrats. Since 1990, Clooney has donated more than $130,000, while Affleck and wife Jennifer Garner have donated $48,200 in support of Democrats in the past three presidential elections.
Newcomer to the Hollywood political scene and this year’s Best Supporting Actress winner Anne Hathaway has given $50,000 since last June to the Obama campaign, the DNC and various Democratic state committees.
Denzel Washington and his wife, Pauletta, have also spent more than $150,000 since 2008 in support of Obama, with donations to Democratic Party committees, as well as to Obama’s presidential campaigns.
Other notable political activist nominees this year included Robert DeNiro, Sally Field, Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix and Helen Hunt. None of them won.