Harvey Weinstein Brings Stars to White House for Film Symposium

From left: Harvey Weinstein,  Whoopi Goldberg, Blake Lively and Naomie Harris
From left: Harvey Weinstein, Whoopi Goldberg, Blake Lively and Naomie Harris
 Alex Wong / Getty Images News

Harvey Weinstein teamed up with First Lady Michelle Obama for a film symposium held Friday at the White House.

Weinstein, a key fundraiser for President Obama, organized the symposium aimed at teaching students about the film industry, The Hill reports.

"I never let anybody tell me no, even the White House," he told the students during a panel discussion hosted by CBS' Gayle King.

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Weinstein said discussions to bring Hollywood talent to the White House began around the time he arranged for Obama to announce the best picture winner at the Academy Awards.

The first lady hosted the event, which also included insights from Whoopi Goldberg, Blake Lively, composer Alan Menken and Naomie Harris, who was also on hand Thursday for a White House screening of her Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

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Menken, who composed music for Disney hits such as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, played a medley of his compositions, turning lyrics from Beast into "Beauty and the Chief."

Obama later spoke, thanking Weinstein for organizing the event and encouraging students to stick with school.

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