Democrats are pulling out all of the stops in an effort to win the critical Senate runoffs in Georgia. Failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is attempting to use the power of Hollywood to help sway voters in Georgia.
Starting on Nov. 27, Abrams will hold a weekly briefing "specifically for Hollywood agents, managers, publicists and entertainment execs for how they can best help" in Georgia's Senate runoff races, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
"I believe very much in the power of celebrity to cut through the noise of politics," Abrams said while promoting her movie "All In: The Fight for Democracy" on Nov. 18. "Whether it was in Georgia or in Michigan or Wisconsin, Arizona, or Nevada — states that faced aggressive voter suppression in 2016, 2018 — it was absolutely an important moment when they heard someone they saw not as a politician, which is an easy community to be suspect of, but those that they trusted as part of the way they think about how they organize their lives. It does indeed matter."
Abrams, who lost in 2018 to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, has never conceded her campaign loss, and blames her defeat on voter suppression.
Abrams is also planning a virtual concert to raise money for her Fair Fight PAC, an initiative "dedicated to funding, training, and supporting voter protection teams in battleground states across the country." The "Rock the Runoff" virtual concert will be held on Dec. 3, and include musical acts such as John Legend, Common, Earthgang, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie, and Indigo Girls. Tickets to the virtual concert range from $5 to a pricey $25,000 ticket that includes "pre-event reception with Stacey Abrams and a signed thank you note with lapel pin."
Fair Fight PAC, which was founded by Abrams in 2018 after losing the election, used celebrities in videos to raise funds for the 2020 election. Fair Fight PAC enlisted celebrities such as Selena Gomez, Steph Curry. Yara Shahidi, Issa Rae, and Keke Palmer.
In the same THR report, Black Voters Matter co-founder LaTosha Brown said there's a "new South that's rising" because of film production in Georgia.
"We're trying to tell people not to write Georgia off, that Georgia is on the map," Brown told the Hollywood Reporter. "We've seen this transition — Georgia is the number one place for film productions, so this city has become more internationalized, I think one. I think it's been attractive to bringing diverse folks to the state. There's a new South that's rising with the growing presence of the film and entertainment industry."
"Many of the celebrities and Hollywood folks have been coming to us really being very transparent about not knowing what to do and asking us what they could do to help the work that's on the ground. That's been very refreshing because I've seen in other years where I felt people were doing it just to build their brand," Brown continued. "What I've been seeing is across the board, there have been people all throughout the industry that have been stepping up and I do think that that has made a difference."
Celebrities such as Kumail Nanjiani, Sophia Bush, and Jaden Smith are co-founders of Win Both Seats, an organization supporting the Democratic Senate candidates in Georgia.
Other entertainers who have donated to the Democrats' Georgia Federal Election Committee or the two Democratic Senate runoff candidates include George Clooney, Will Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Joaquin Phoenix, Jason Bateman, Mandy Moore, Patricia Arquette and Bradley Whitford, according to The Hill.
The Georgia Senate runoffs take place on Jan. 5, and will pit incumbent Kelly Loeffler (R) against candidate Raphael Warnock (D), as well as incumbent David Perdue (R) versus candidate Jon Ossoff (D). If Warnock and Ossoff both win, Democrats would then notch a 50-50 tie in the Senate, and the vice president would serve as the tiebreaker.