For many of us who have tuned into awards shows over the years, the celeb-packed galas have consistently offered up an evening of charming, if possibly somewhat problematic, escape from the daily grind and the unpleasant things in our own lives we’d rather not think about. For a few hours, the dazzling gowns, beautiful faces, and over-the-top production let us forget about the rest of the world if just for a night.
Since 2018, however, awards shows have been different. Rather than giving us a bite-size piece of Tinsel Town, a world that hitherto seemed rather isolated from worldly strife, awards shows turned into opportunities for many celebrities, acting individually or as a group, to raise awareness about important issues. The Times Up and #MeToo movements marked a shift in the way awards shows are used as a platform for launching change–within and beyond the film and music industries.
This trend is only gaining momentum. In the past few years, we’ve voraciously covered awards seasons, detailing which celebs wore ethically made dresses and who stood up for vegan and recycled fashion. But to be honest, while the actions and choices of these individuals are important, it still felt like there were lightyears to go when it came to veganism and sustainability in awards shows. Fortunately, the industry is waking up to the cause–and actually doing something about it! This year, we have the joy of reporting that the 2020 Golden Globes’ menu was entirely vegan in the name of climate change.
Lorenzo Soria, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) told the Associated Press that the Golden Globes took the opportunity to make a difference: “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 … 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.” (Red meat, for one, is a major contributor to climate change.)
Although the news came as a bit of a shock to Matthew Morgan, the executive chef planning the event’s catering, he ultimately came out in support of the decision. “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.”
A number of celebrities have also voiced their support:
Mark Ruffalo tweeted this past Thursday, “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.”
Noted climate activist Leonardo DiCaprio tweeted, “Thank you HFPA.”
And, long-time vegan advocate Joaquin Phoenix—partner to vegan goddess Rooney Mara—took the opportunity of his Best Actor in a Drama Award acceptance speech to thank the HFPA for its vegan menu.
“I would like to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press for recognizing and acknowledging the link between animal agriculture and climate change,” the actor began the speech. “I’ve never been so proud to attend an awards ceremony as I am tonight.”
“It’s coming to a point now where the evidence is irrefutable and undeniable,” the actor said. “Now, consuming animal products is no longer a personal choice. It’s having drastic consequences around the world.” Sources say that it was Phoenix himself who pushed HFPA to serve a vegan meal at this show.
Naturally, the menu sounds divine.
According to the Associated Press, the appetizer during the event’s pre-show dinner was a chilled golden beet soup. The entree included king oyster mushroom “scallops” and wild mushroom risotto, with roasted baby purple and green Brussels sprouts and carrots on the side. (Mmmm.) For dessert, attendees were treated to a “vegan opera dome.” (Opera cake is a coffee-rich pastry with a fascinating history and is, of course, appropriately fancy.)
The Los Angeles Times reported that the event’s off-camera buffets, which usually feature lunch meat sandwiches and cheese, was also vegan. The event provided natural spring water in glass bottles to avoid plastic waste.
While we all still have a lot of work ahead of us in the fight for a sustainable future (and Hollywood still needs to strive to be more inclusive of womxn and minorities), the decision to make the Golden Globes a vegan event sends the message that veganism and sustainability aren’t mere fringe movements—in fact, they deserve the spotlight, and when we work together at both a systemic and individual level, we can create a new, better normal, all without sacrificing beauty (’cause that menu sounds pretty glamorous to me).
What do you think about the Golden Globes going vegan? Do you think they’ll keep it up next year?
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