Hillary Clinton Attends Partners Awards Gala

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Hillary Clinton

The Beverly Hills gala raised $1 million for marine conservation.

Ted Danson, Diane Lane, Jane Fonda and Harvey Weinstein were among the industry luminaries showing support at the Oceana’s Partners Awards Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Wednesday night. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CEO of HBO Richard Plepler were featured as the evening’s special guests.

Oceana strives to protect the world’s oceans from the dangers of over fishing and pollution. Its board of directors includes The Newsroom's Sam Waterston and CSI's Ted Danson who merged his organization the American Oceans Campaign to create Oceana in 2001.

“Whatever it is that makes you stand at the edge of the earth and look at the water and the ocean and makes you feel good that touches my soul,” said Danson. “I’m more of a vegetarian than I am a fish eater and I don’t go out in the water, but I love the idea that if you were to do everything the ocean needs to be healthy you could solve a lot of the world’s problems.“

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Arrested Development actor Ed Begley Jr. interrupted Danson to pay homage.

“My environmental hero,” said Begley Jr. “I want to be him.”

Inside the event, a Morgan Freeman-narrated opening film centered on how our oceans are being over-fished: "We're eating fish faster than the fish can reproduce."

Waterston introduced Plepler, who accepted an honor on behalf of HBO, telling a story of being in the White House as a young man with Waterston and Christopher Reeve. He said they "popped in on President Clinton," who talked to them for an hour. He addressed Hillary Clinton, saying the next time he goes back to the White House, he hoped there would be another President Clinton in the Oval Office. The crowd erupted.
Weinstein introduced Clinton, saying "I only ask one thing in return from you: that you please, please, please run for president." The crowd erupted in cheers again. Next Clinton took the stage, saying, "Harvey – I thought this was going to be about the oceans. There's got to be a movie in here somewhere for you."

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Earlier, notables including Breaking Bad’s Dean Norris, Waterston and Plepler expressed how there’s nothing like living by the ocean.

“It’s the most therapeutic, cathartic piece of nature and I think everybody feels the same way,” said Plepler. “You want it clean, you want the ecosystem surviving and you want our kids to be able to enjoy it in the same way that our parents did and that we do.”

Angela Kinsey and Constance Zimmer walked together down the red carpet together almost matching in black dresses that they said was purely coincidental. Kinsey expressed she was looking forward to seeing Clinton during the event.

“I think Hillary Clinton speaking tonight is huge for Oceana,” said Kinsey. She’s incredibly smart and intelligent and I’m excited to hear what she has to say.”

How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders told The Hollywood Reporter she will be living out a childhood dream when she travels to Belize with Oceana.

“I have wanted to be a marine biologist since I was like a teenager so this is kind of like becoming a marine biologist without having to go to school a very long time,” said Smulders. “I’m just excited to get under the water and sort of see what the reefs are like out there.”

Danson expressed his gratitude towards the evening’s special guests and announced that the support of Clinton and Plepler helped Oceana to raise $1 million.

“It feels like a celebration because Oceana has reframed the discussion around the world’s fisheries in a way that all of a sudden we’re getting the financial backing that’s very exciting,” said Danson. “I think we’re on the brink of really making a difference.”