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Former Obama, Clinton staffers are helping write Hollywood award acceptance speeches

That makes sense

Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor visit in the green room after filming HBO's live "Pod Save America" show on Sept. 28, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jessica Pons/ For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Hollywood awards season has brought some extremely political acceptance speeches. Instead of simply thanking those who contributed to a project or telling a personal story, award recipients are likely to make a statement on issues such as abortion or climate change.

That may be due to a trend of more Hollywood personalities enlisting professional speechwriters for their acceptance speeches, rather than doing it themselves. Additionally, some political figures have stepped in to meet the demand.

One example of that is Fenway Strategies. Fenway is a firm that was founded in 2013 by a couple of former Obama administration officials: Jon Favreau, the former director of speechwriting, and Tommy Vietor, the former national security spokesman.

Also on board with Fenway is Sam Koppelman, a former speechwriter for Michael Bloomberg and digital strategist for Hillary Clinton. The firm began with a mostly political angle, but in recent years has transitioned into the Hollywood space. From Vulture:

Although the firm's most obvious connection is to the political arena, helping speakers prep TED talks or United Nations addresses, Fenway has branched out into Hollywood. And over the last few years the firm has helped ghostwrite awards acceptance speeches for a number of A-list clients; you definitely know them but their identities are protected by non-disclosure agreements.

"Writing for actors is a speechwriter's dream come true," Koppelman told Vulture. "Because unlike politicians, who are not professionals at memorizing lines or delivering them in compelling and charismatic ways, actors actually know how to deliver the lines."

Although it's unclear who wrote it, or whether she wrote it on her own, an example of a recent political acceptance speech is one from Michelle Williams during the Golden Globes. Her speech focused on the right for women to choose abortion.

"I'm grateful for the acknowledgment of the choices I've made, and I'm also grateful to have lived at a moment in our society where choice exists. Because as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice," Williams said. "I've tried my very best to live a life of my own making, and not just a series of events that happened to me, but one that I could stand back and look at and recognize my handwriting all over — sometimes messy and scrawling, sometimes careful and precise, but one that I had carved with my own hand. And I wouldn't have been able to do this without employing a woman's right to choose: to choose when to have my children, and with whom."

One last thing…
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