But I don’t think any country can come close to the Philippines, where half of the current Senate has significant showbiz/media connections, and a third have been actors or broadcasting personalities.
Eight of the twenty-four senators have been actors or hosts of broadcast shows:
- Ramon (Bong) Revilla – Movie and TV actor (his father is also both an actor and a former senator).
- Jose Ejercito, Jr. (aka Jinggoy Estrada) – Movie actor (another whose father was a popular actor, who is also a former president and current mayor of Manila).
- Pia Cayetano – Her father (a senator) had a TV show called Compañero y Compañera. She took over hosting the show upon his death, and now co-hosts a radio version of the same show with her brother (also a senator). She also has hosted other radio shows.
- Alan Peter Cayetano – (see above)
- Vicente (Tito) Sotto – Co-host of the longest-running variety show on Philippine TV. His wife (Helen Gamboa) is an actress and singer.
- Loren Legarda – Before entering politics, she was a popular TV news presenter.
- Bam Aquino-- He worked for ABS-CBN Foundation (ABS-CBN is one of the Philippines’ two major TV networks, and a media conglomerate). He also hosted a TV show. His cousin Kris (sister of the president, daughter of the former president) also is a movie actress and hosts TV shows.
- Lito Lapid – Popular movie actor.
- Ralph Recto – Married to Vilma Santos, one of the country’s most popular actresses ever (my wife was the world's biggest Vilma Santos fan). Vilma’s a governor these days, but continues to have movie and TV roles.
- Sergio Osmeña III – His wife is a Lopez, the family that owns ABS-CBN and numerous other media properties.
- Grace Poe-Llamanzares – Both adoptive parents were extremely popular actors (her father ran for president in 2004). Before election to the senate she chaired the Philippine movie and TV ratings board. Her half-sister is an actor/singer.
- JV Ejercito – Father was a popular actor and president, numerous other family members are in entertainment (and politics).
It bothers me that I see the politics/media/Hollywood relationship growing, with children of politicians frequently entering the media as a career, among other manifestations. I don't think politics-as-a-branch-of-showbiz has been healthy for the Philippines, and I doubt it will be any more so for the US.