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Harvey Weinstein brings Michelle Obama to the Oscars

By Laurie Bennett

February 25, 2013 at 7:23am

The Hollywood power structure rearranges every year at this time, as Oscar winners enjoy the new bankability that comes with each statuette.

Yet the big cheese Sunday night wasn’t an award recipient. It was Harvey Weinstein, who arranged for Michelle Obama to announce the winner for best picture.

While the moment would have been sweeter if she had named one of Weinstein’s movies, her appearance was still a major coup, particularly because it was kept secret until the show.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Weinstein put the Academy in touch with the first lady, who was open to the idea. He and his daughter Lily, along with Academy President Hawk Koch and Oscar show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, went to the White House two weeks ago.

MMichelle Obama announces the best picture Oscar
Michelle Obama announces the best picture Oscar to “Argo,” live from the Diplomatic Room of the White House, Feb. 24, 2013. (White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Weinstein, of course, has long been a big player in the movie business. He and his brother were executive producers for two best picture nominees this year - “Django Unchained,” which won best original screenplay and best supporting actor for Christoph Waltz, and “Silver Linings Playbook,” which delivered a best leading actress Oscar for Jennifer Lawrence.

But it was his connections in Washington that helped secure FLOTUS as presenter.

Weinstein was a bundler for President Obama’s re-election bid, raising more than $756,000 for the campaign. He was also invited to the White House state dinner last year for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

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