navigate @ newsstand
latest news & archive
articles & interviews
magazine rack
rewind 2001 2000
tv schedule

articles & interviews

Showbiz Elite Turns Out for Democrats

By Paula Bernstein

NEW YORK (Variety) - The same week that Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman took the entertainment industry to task for marketing adult-rated movies, CDs and video games to kids, the head of Miramax, VH1 and Rolling Stone threw a concert in their honor.

Hollywood's elite turned out in force for Thursday night's Democratic National Committee fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall -- despite the battering they had suffered over the last few days from Washington politicians and regulators.

The hosts of the event were Miramax Film's Harvey Weinstein, VH1's John Sykes and Rolling Stone's Jann Wenner. The wall-to-wall celebrities included Matt Damon, Salma Hayek, Julia Roberts, Michael Douglas and Harrison Ford, all of whom lauded the Democratic contenders.

Introducing Lieberman, Weinstein acknowledged that the vice presidential candidate "isn't making my job any easier," but called him "a strong but fair critic of the entertainment industry."

He added, "I'm proud that we were the first to respond this week," referring to the Sept. 12 statement of Miramax's parent Walt Disney Co. spelling out "responsible marketing practices" the company would undertake to answer specific criticisms of the Federal Trade Commission report.

Gore reinforced his own criticism of the industry when he told the crowd, "It's wrong to market inappropriate material to children."

Lieberman took a lighter tone, igniting laughs when he said, at one point in his address, "One thing I could never have dreamed of six weeks ago is that I'd be here at Radio City as the opening act for Bette Midler."