The 77th annual Golden Globe awards will be presented Sunday. It’s billed as the biggest party of the year during the award show season. This year the dinner before the awards ceremony will present a completely meatless menu. Sorry, carnivores, there will be no tasty beef or poultry dishes this year.
It’s all about saving the planet, you know. Entertainment industry award shows are notoriously political. In Trump’s America, the level of political statements offered by our Hollywood and Broadway betters has exceeded anything we heard during the eight years of Obama. As the national press, actors and actresses were happy to remain mute during those years. Now, no hot take goes unuttered, especially if a microphone and alcohol are involved. Full disclosure: I watch the award shows because I cover them for NewsBusters, so you don’t have to watch them. You’re welcome.
The awards are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association who released a statement Thursday explaining the decision to serve a 100% plant-based meal. They can’t change the world but they can save the planet. They sound a bit full of themselves, don’t they? The change in the menu was a last-minute one, too. It took two days of meetings with the hotel (The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills) just two weeks ago to work out the details.
“If there’s a way we can, not change the world, but save the planet, maybe we can get the Golden Globes to send a signal and draw attention to the issue about climate change,” HFPA president Lorenzo Soria said. “The food we eat, the way we grow the food we eat, the way we dispose of the food is one of the large contributors to the climate crisis.”
Soria said there was some initial push back about changing the menu just about two weeks before the show, but the hotel eventually agreed on the new menu.
“People were basically saying it’s too late, we’re ready with all the orders, the holidays and all that,” he said. “But after we began discussions, meeting for one or two days, (the hotel) accepted the change completely. They started to experiment with how to do plant-based meals that was not just their symbolic steps, but also something that guests will enjoy.”
Imagine how thrilled the hotel’s chef must have been when a last-minute overhaul to the event’s menu was proposed. Such a large event is usually planned months before it happens by the organizers. I know that even with local events if dinner is being served, menus (and costs) are worked out well in advance. The executive chef was shamed into going along with the change because of the message it sends.
Matthew Morgan, executive chef at The Beverly Hilton, called the menu change initially surprising. But he ultimately understood it would send a positive message.
“It was a little shocking when first mentioned, because of being very close to the actual Globes and having already decided on a menu,” he said. “But once we thought about it and the message that it sent, we were really excited about it. That’s something I stand behind myself.”
All of this is just more proof that absolutely every aspect of life is now politicized – even dinner. Too bad the chef didn’t have the cojones to stand with the original plans. I’m sure he had vendors lined up and prepared to do the event. Did he suddenly realize he’s on board with this kind of message being made with food after two days of meetings? That is what his quote sounds like.
The meal sounds good, actually, but the grand statement is a bit much. Apparently it is ok for vegetarians and most vegans to eat bivalves. I don’t make the rules here. I admit I am not an expert on veganism or vegetarianism for that matter. There are some things I don’t eat – like veal – due to the fact I think about the process, but it’s not a message about saving the planet, for goodness sakes.
The menu will include a chilled golden beet soup appetizer, along with roasted baby purple and green Brussels sprouts and carrots, and king oyster mushroom scallops and wild mushroom risotto. The awards will also serve sustainably-sourced spring water.
Some of Hollywood’s loudest virtue-signalers have chimed in about the change in menu.
Our industry leads by example. Vegetarian food is delicious and healthy and reduces green house gasses about as much as driving electric cars. The HFPA should be commended for this and all the other awards shows should follow suit. #GoldenGlobes https://t.co/qbCib49xYe
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) January 2, 2020
I’ll note the irony in Ruffalo’s tweet. “Our industry leads by example”, he says. C’mon, man! When the lifestyles of the rich and famous involve much smaller carbon footprints, maybe we’ll listen to them. In the meanwhile, people who live in large homes and travel on private jets and in SUVs probably should just sit this one out.