Joe Biden to hold virtual fundraiser with Billy Porter, Melissa Etheridge

The April 23 event aims to raise money in the LGBTQ community in Los Angeles. Billie Jean King and Kristin Chenoweth will also make appearances.
Joe Biden
Joe Biden speaks at a press event in Wilmington, Del., on March 12, 2020.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images file
By Variety and Reuters

LOS ANGELES — Joe Biden will participate in a "virtual" fundraiser on April 23 with Hollywood stars including Billy Porter and Melissa Etheridge.

The event aims to raise money in the LGBTQ community in Los Angeles, and is co-hosted by John Gile and Jeff Valenson. In addition to Porter and Etheridge, the event will also feature appearances by Billie Jean King and Kristin Chenoweth.

In an interview, Gile said the event would be modeled on a recent Rosie O'Donnell livestream fundraiser for The Actors Fund, which featured a series of performances and interviews with celebrities, including Porter and Chenoweth.

"Guests" at the Biden event will donate $1,000, while sponsors will give $2,800 and "champions" will donate $5,600. Co-hosts commit to raise $20,000 for the campaign. Participants will be given instructions on how to join the event online.

"We're feeling very optimistic about November," Gile said.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, Biden's last remaining rival, dropped out of the race on Wednesday, making Biden the de facto Democratic nominee.

Biden last held an in-person Hollywood fundraiser on March 4, at the Bel Air home of former Paramount Pictures chief Sherry Lansing.

The former vice president began holding virtual fundraisers via Zoom on March 20, as the coronavirus pandemic took hold. He has dialed in to several other events since then from his rec room in Wilmington, Del.

On Wednesday, Biden participated in a virtual fundraiser with Sen. Kamala Harris, the former presidential contender who endorsed Biden shortly after his big win on Super Tuesday. Among the attendees were Norman Lear and Dee Dee Myers, the former communications chief at Warner Bros., according to a pool report. Harris praised the former vice president, whom she had attacked early in the campaign for his opposition to busing in the 1970s.

"He sees people. He understands their pain. He understands their dreams," Harris said, according to the pool report. "And what we need is a president who has a proven track record of leadership, and also who has the ability to lift people up. That's what people need right now."

Gile and Valenson were bundlers for Mayor Pete Buttigieg before he dropped out and endorsed Biden.

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