Group of Hollywood Conservatives Dissolves Over Trump-Cruz Divisions

April 22nd, 2016 12:02 PM

Rory Carroll at the Guardian reports that the group Friends of Abe, a “secretive” group of Hollywood conservatives that includes celebrities like Jon Voight and Kelsey Grammer, is dissolving over Donald Trump and the fight over the June 7 California primary.

Lionel Chetwynd, a producer and screenwriter and co-founder of the group, recently said the 2016 campaign was causing a “civil war in slow motion,” which "fractured friendships and shredded solidarity."

In a Daily Beast article on Thursday, Chetwynd described his efforts to organize for Ted Cruz:

“It dawned on us very recently that California is gonna count this year,” writer-producer Lionel Chetwynd told The Daily Beast. “Usually, by the time you get to us, [the nominee has] been decided. But in this election, we thought, ‘It may be real here, so what can we do?’”

“...Cruz is an extremely educated man who understands the arc of history,” Chetwynd said. “He’s his own best advocate. To meet him is to love him. And I think Cruz can count on Hollywood’s right of center for really extensive support.”

Apparently, that is not the case. The Daily Beast noted celebrities on Team Cruz include Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak, Clint Eastwood, Tom Selleck, Patricia Heaton, David Mamet, Gary Sinise, and Kelsey Grammer. But Voight  has formally endorsed  Trump. As Carroll reported:

“Effective immediately, we are going to begin to wind down the 501 (c)(3) organization, bring the Sustaining Membership dues to an end, and do away with the costly infrastructure and the website,” the executive director, Jeremy Boreing, told members in an email, a copy of which the Guardian has seen.

“Today, because we have been successful in creating a community that extends far beyond our events, people just don’t feel as much of a need to show up for every speaker or bar night, and fewer people pay the dues that help us maintain that large infrastructure.”

Boreing insisted that while this was “an end to the standing organization, but not an end to the mission or the fellowship....“We will still get together for drinks and speakers, but we may reassess how we approach those events logistically. In short, FOA will return to its roots. It will be a passion project, like it was in the beginning ... We’ll still be a private organization that protects the names of our members at all costs.”