Hollywood elites, megadonors turn on Biden amid growing calls for new Democratic nominee

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Hollywood elites with previous support for President Biden are turning on the Democrat’s re-election efforts after a damaging debate performance triggered concerns over his mental competency.  

Biden’s physical and mental fitness were called into question after the first presidential debate in June, sparking calls from voters, Democratic members of Congress, and donors for the party to select a new nominee to take on former President Trump in November.

Netflix co-founder and megadonor Reed Hastings, who has given millions to Democratic candidates, including Biden, is one of the most recent staunch Hollywood donors to switch gears and call for Biden to drop out of the race.

“Biden needs to step aside to allow a vigorous Democratic leader to beat Trump and keep us safe and prosperous,” Hastings told the New York Times in a statement.


Reed Hastings

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings speaks during Netflix Slate Event on Oct. 9, 2018, in Bogota, Colombia.

Star Trek screenwriter Damon Lindelof, a self-described “lifelong Democrat,” said Biden’s debate performance was “disappointing, upsetting, terrifying” before calling for the party to select a new nominee.

While he noted previous support for Biden, Lindelof suggested imposing “economic sanctions” on the Democratic Party until the president is replaced on the 2024 ticket.

“When they text you asking for cash, text back that you’re not giving them a penny, and you won’t change your mind until there’s change at the top of the ticket,” Lindelof wrote in a column for Deadline. “I propose a DEMbargo. No checks written. No ActBlue links clicked. For anyone.”


Lindelof has given hundreds of thousands to the party over the years, with public records showing donations to the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee and candidates such as Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

Damon Lindelof

Damon Lindelof attends Peacock’s “Mrs. Davis” Los Angeles premiere at DGA Theater Complex on April 13, 2023. (Unique Nicole)

Disney heiress and film producer Abigail Disney offered a warning to Democrats if Biden is not replaced as the nominee.

“I intend to stop any contributions to the party unless and until they replace Biden at the top of the ticket. This is realism, not disrespect. Biden is a good man and has served his country admirably, but the stakes are far too high,” she told CNBC after the debate. “If Biden does not step down, the Democrats will lose. Of that I am absolutely certain. The consequences for the loss will be genuinely dire.”

Actor and Democrat donor Rob Reiner also joined the chorus of voices on Sunday calling for Biden to withdraw from the race. 

“It’s time to stop f—ing around. If the Convicted Felon wins, we lose our Democracy. Joe Biden has effectively served US with honor, decency, and dignity,” Reiner wrote in a post on X. “It’s time for Joe Biden to step down.”

Rob Reinger

Rob Reiner attends the 24th Annual Beverly Hills Film Festival on May 3, 2024, in Hollywood, California. (Paul Archuleta)

Hollywood agent Ari Emaunel said he believes that Biden “is not the candidate anymore” and that donors are already moving their money away from his campaign.


“Well, I’m p—ed off at the Founding Fathers. They had the start date of 35. They just didn’t give us the end date,” Hastings said at the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival. “I’ve talked to a bunch of big donors, and they’re moving all their money to Congress and the Senate. I mean, I can’t believe we’re in this situation.”

Billionaire investor Mark Cuban, who said he will still vote for Biden if he remains the Democratic nominee, revealed on X after the debate that he is “open to the discussion to replace Biden and/or Harris.”

Biden has doubled down on his intentions to stay in the race amid calls to suspend his re-election bid, recently telling a 4th of July crowd at the White House that he is “not going anywhere.”

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