We’re taking a break from our regularly scheduled programming for a PSA about blatant hypocrisy in Hollywood. I know, you’re shocked.
The New Year is not a week old and we’re already into the award season. That’s the string of black-tie dinners where the rich and famous gather to pat themselves on the back, and the winners get a few minutes to champion their favorite cause.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with trying to effect change for the better. But when you do it only seems logical you should make damned sure the change you seek is actually positive, and that you’re not a hypocrite in the process.
I’m referring to news the meal served prior to the 77th Annual Golden Globes awards show on Jan. 5 was 100% plant-based. The main entrée was something called “king oyster mushrooms scallops and wild mushroom risotto, along with roasted baby purple and green Brussels sprouts and carrots.” A chilled golden beet soup was the appetizer. Yum.
I think it’s safe to assume a plate of mushrooms, Brussels sprouts and carrots at the Hollywood Hilton costs considerably more than the finest steak you or I have ever eaten. But I digress. My objection is not that Hollywood had a vegan dinner, it’s that the Golden Globes hopes publicity surrounding its food choices will raise public awareness about food consumption, waste and environmental issues.
“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,” Hollywood Foreign Press Association (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’s statement underscores how little he actually knows about food production and its impact on climate change, though I’ll admit there’s plenty of room for honest debate about how we can make food production more efficient.
(In a Bloomberg story, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association said, “While the intent is good, the impact is likely to be minimal,” regarding the Golden Globes’ decision to go vegan. “If all livestock in the U.S. were eliminated and every American followed a vegan diet,” greenhouse-gas emissions would only drop by 2.6%, NCBA said, citing a study from the National Academy of Sciences.)
What’s not open for debate is how the message sent by the Golden Globes is downright hypocritical.
Here’s why: The HFPA, which hosts the Golden Globes, partnered with Icelandic Glacial, a naturally alkaline and “sustainably-sourced natural spring water.” Press coverage notes the water was served in glass bottles rather than plastic, which eliminates the plastic waste from the event. “Oh, how cool that they’re not using plastic,” you might think.
But, the Golden Globes just admitted they shipped water from Iceland! That’s not sustainable, that’s stupid. Here’s guessing the carbon footprint of every glass of Icelandic spring water at the Golden Globes more than erased any environmental benefit derived from a plate of mushrooms and carrots.
2020 is still young, folks, but the front runner for hypocrisy of the year award is the Golden Globes.
Editor's note: Any sarcasm expressed in this column is solely that of the author.