The Hollywood studio run by one of President Obama’s biggest donors is under investigation by the Securities Exchange Commission for bribing Chinese officials to secure exclusive film rights in the communist country—rights secured in secretive negotiations that included Vice President Joe Biden.
The SEC is investigating at least five Hollywood studios—including 20th Century Fox, Disney, and DreamWorks Animation—for allegedly making illegal payments to Chinese officials, Reuters reported Tuesday.
DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg is the largest donor to the Obama reelection super PAC Priorities USA.
Dreamworks announced in February a $2 billion deal with the Chinese government for the company to build a production studio in Shanghai. The deal came just days after Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping held an extensive meeting with Barack Obama in Washington, followed by the Chinese Vice President’s trip to Los Angeles to meet with Katzenberg.
The deal was part of a larger agreement under which China increased its annual quota of foreign-produced films to 34 from 20 and increased the revenue it allowed foreign studios to keep to 25 percent from 15 percent.