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Hollywood’s A-listers are lining up behind Joe Biden. Will their support matter in November?

WASHINGTON — Then Robert De Niro appeared outside a Manhattan courthouse disapprove Donald Trump As his hush money trial in New York drew to a close, it led to a shouting match over life-imitation art with a nearby group of the former president’s supporters.

“You’re gangsters!” DeNirowho starred in “Goodfellas” and won an Oscar for “The Godfather Part II,” shouted at Trump supporters, who responded with obscenities.

There will be many more Hollywood storylines in the 2024 campaign: celebrities are increasingly lending their star power to the chairman Joe Bidenhoping to encourage their fans to vote for him in November and entice donors to rally around his re-election efforts.

On Saturday, A-listers George Clooney And Julia Roberts will work with the former president Barack Obama at a Biden fundraiser in Los Angeles, where the three will be interviewed by the late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. Roberts and Kimmel have already started asking for donations via text for Biden, who has a weekend peace conference on Ukraine will be held in Switzerland to attend the event.

Director Steven Spielberg is involved in storytelling efforts for the Democratic National Convention in August. Lenny Kravitz, Barbra Streisand And James Taylor have all performed for Biden donors.

They include others who have sent fundraising emails, hosted events, or otherwise lent their support Connie Britton of “The White Lotus” singer-songwriter fame Carole Kingcreator of “Bridgerton”. Shonda Rhimessinger Christina Aguilera“The Equalizer” actress Queen Latifah and “Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill, who showed up in the White House briefing room last month to personally praise the president.

And in another case, the lines between real life and fantasy blur, during a fundraiser at the home of a veteran actor Michael DouglasBiden, the de facto president, congratulated the star of the 1996 hit “The American President” on the success of his fictional administration.

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However, there is little expectation of all the celebrity supporters to determine the votes. Rather, they are seen as having the ability to create excitement that energizes supporters.

Lexi Underwood, whose credits include the streaming series “Little Fires Everywhere,” calls acting a “contact sport” that allows her to communicate with audiences and makes her determined to use her influence responsibly. She recently participated in a virtual “Students for Biden” event and traveled to Nevada to appear at campaign events focused on women’s health issues.

“I’m fortunate to have certain eyes on me,” says Underwood, 20. “I really feel responsible for making sure that what I put out there informs people about things that they weren’t informed about before, or that I motivate them to vote.”

Biden’s campaign says its main focus is on finding authentic and trusted messengers who can promote the president’s policy achievements and sound the alarm about the Republican Party’s “extremism,” and that means supporting both mainstream and celebrity supporters are deployed. Advertisements were produced featuring a union worker from Pennsylvania. , a Black entrepreneur in Detroit and women negatively affected by strict abortion limits in Texas.

Fai Nelson, an HR worker who recently attended Vice President Kamala Harris’ event in Prince George’s County, Maryland, said celebrity voices can make a difference “if they can touch the audience.”

“It’s about whether the message is relevant,” says Nelson (42).

Biden’s campaign featured celebrities during the 2020 pandemic-era campaign countless virtual events which showed the importance of staying flexible so that stars can present themselves in the most authentic ways.

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Adrienne Elrod, who served as Biden’s director of surrogate strategy and operations in 2020, said celebrity Biden supporters will often “come forward with their own ideas” about how they can help the campaign and what issues they want to focus on.

“We often have ideas for them too,” she says. “That’s why when we involve these people, there’s always a very productive working relationship.”

De Niro has taken on an increasingly prominent role in Biden’s campaign. Before his confrontation with Trump supporters, the actor held a press conference in which he called the former president a “clown.” He also attended Biden fundraisers and narrated a campaign ad accusing Trump of “snapping” after losing the 2020 election.

Karoline Leavitt, spokesperson for the former president’s campaign, said: “The only people in America supporting Joe Biden’s failing campaign are elite Hollywood celebrities,” adding that Trump “speaks for the forgotten men and women of this country .”

Trump has his own list of celebrities, including musicians Kid Rock and Ted Nugent, UFC CEO Dana White, media personality Caitlyn Jenner and actors Dennis Quaid and Jon Voight, as well as comedian Roseanne Barr.

Elrod said other stars would like to follow De Niro’s example for Biden, but are waiting “until the moment can really be maximized” before getting involved. She pointed to 2020, when Bruce Springsteen narrated a Biden ad featuring his song “My Hometown” just before the election.

“I think you’ll see more moments like this, where we use those votes strategically and effectively at the moment that makes the most sense for us in the campaign,” said Elrod, who is serving as Biden campaign spokesperson this cycle.

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David Schmid, an English professor at the University at Buffalo who studies popular culture, said celebrities can influence fans’ aspirations and what they consume. But their influence “on people’s voting behavior is really exaggerated,” he said.

That’s the case for Alex Dillion, a rising sophomore at American University in Washington who also attended the Harris event in Maryland. When asked which famous person could influence him politically, Dillion replied: “Maybe Obama.”

Schmid said a celebrity with outsized political influence could be Taylor SwiftWHO sent shockwaves even through the NFL last season. She endorsed Biden in 2020 and is being openly courted this time by the campaign on social media, and even in a press release touting her latest album.

However, her touch does not guarantee victory. In 2018, Swift supported two Democratic candidates in Tennessee who lost. And Schmid said that even someone as famous as Swift “knows things are polarizing and he doesn’t want to take big risks” on candidates and controversial issues.

For all the Biden team’s work with celebrities, the president is still trying to cultivate the image of someone who is in tune with ordinary people.

During a campaign swing through Saginaw, Michiganthe president visited a public golf course and met with community activist Coleman Hurley III and his son.

“The celebrities who have everything they want and need may be out of touch,” the elder Hurley said later in a telephone interview.

As for everyday Americans, Hurley added, Biden “needs to be able to identify and see where they live … and then have a conversation about some of the different struggles or issues that we, or other Americans, face.”



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