Proving that business takes precedent over politics, Harvey Weinstein didn’t spend Inauguration Day in Washington D.C. but at the Sundance Film Festival. “I was there on the weekend with my kids, we had brunch with the President and went to the Kids Inauguration Concert where Usher played, but I’m glad to be here today because what I do is make movies,” Weinstein, one of President Obama’s most prominent Hollywood supporters, told Deadline this morning during a Producers Guild breakfast here. Although the mogul flew into his old stomping ground Sunday and missed today’s swearing-in, Weinstein says he may still participate in more celebrations. “I’m invited to the event at the White House tonight, so I might still try to fly back. I don’t know yet,” he said.
Weinstein, who hosted big-bucks fundraisers for Obama during the election, also said he thinks Obama will take another swing at legislation to curb piracy. “The President backed off before,” said Weinstein of the failed SOPA bill, which was pushed by Hollywood but scrapped early last year after strong opposition from tech companies. “I don’t think he will back off this time. He’s pragmatic, like the movie Lincoln shows a President has to be.”
The producer also touched on how fierce the Presidential election was between Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney. “This was a tough fight, it was bare knuckles. You’ve got to bring a gun to a knife fight with Mitt Romney because he was changing his positions every five minutes,” Weinstein said. “On Saturday, the President said ‘thank you, thank you’ because 2008 was a cake walk compared to last year.”
During the election, Weinstein used his clout to get celebrities out on the trail. “We had surrogates in a number of states: Anne Hathaway, Eva Longoria. I got Paul McCartney to come out and endorse the president. That the first time he’s done anything like that and an endorsement from a Beatle got over 30 million hits on the Internet,” Weinstein said.