Call it the Joaquin Phoenix effect. After the Critics Choice Awards, the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards (SAG), and the Golden Globes served an entirely vegan menu this year, the Oscars will also offer all vegan foods at its pre-ceremony reception on February 9.
The Academy Awards’ plant-based streak started with a nominees’ luncheon on January 27, where guests like Brad Pitt and Renee Zellweger enjoyed “gem lettuce, roasted beets, endive, micro herbs,” “roasted maitake mushroom, black rice, cauliflower red curry” and “traditional coconut macaroons, dark chocolate drizzle.” They even nibbled on a selection of “vegan cheese, dark chocolate, vegan bread, and crudité” for the table!
Later that day, the Academy made a statement on expanding its sustainability efforts. “For the past decade, the Academy has been committed to reducing its carbon footprint. For the past seven years, the Oscars show has had a zero-carbon imprint. We continue to expand our sustainability plan with the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral,” the announcement read. The Academy also pledged to remove plastic bottles from all its events.
Whether the Oscars has *really* been carbon neutral for the past 7 years is questionable. (Are they counting the countless celebrities flying in from around the world to attend the ceremony?) But the Academy’s public stance surely will affect how the movie industry views its environmental impact.
Ceremony and Post-Ceremony Dinner
The ceremony itself doesn’t include dinner. The post-ceremony Governor’s Ball will serve 70% vegan foods. While not ideal, that is still a long way from decades of serving meat at the Oscars, from chicken, potatoes, and green beans at the first dinner in 1929 to creamy French cuisine starting in the 70s, to steak and caviar in more recent times.
Given the wave of all plant-based awards shows, we sense the Oscars become 100% vegan before long. The domino effect was spearheaded by Joaquin Phoenix: according to The Hollywood Reporter, Phoenix emailed Critics’ Choice Association 10 days before the award show to push for a plant-based menu. Fellow nominees Leonardo DiCaprio, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Kristen Bell (also vegan) signed the email in solidarity. Phoenix also sent similar emails to SAG and the Academy. Adding to the publicity, Phoenix has been rocking the same tuxedo to all the award shows for sustainability reasons, and scooting out of the red carpet to join activists in Washington D.C., Toronto, London, and LA. We can only hope that this spirit of leadership and integrity set an example for leading men and women for years to come.
Photo: Sandra Alvarado via Instagram