Like everything else, awards shows follow trends: host or no host; black gowns for political statements or colorful ones for fun; safe, subdued proceedings or the complete opposite (ahem, Ricky Gervais).
Now it seems even the food served to celebrities at this year’s round of awards soirees has a trend: everything’s gone green. First, the Golden Globes were convinced by then-nominee Joaquin Phoenix to serve an all-vegan menu. The “scallops” were mushrooms and an ambitious-looking dessert called the “vegan opera dome” was made without eggs, gelatin, or butter. Phoenix, who took home the Globe, thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press for acknowledging the connection between animal agriculture and climate change.
Next, the Critics’ Choice Awards served a copycat plant-based menu, and we learned that agency WME will do the same for its Oscar weekend party (catered by vegan restaurant Nic’s on Beverly). That’s not too surprising: they happen to represent Phoenix.
Having also swept the SAGs, Phoenix is absolutely frontrunner for Actor in a Leading Role at the Oscars—but does he really have that much influence over menus? Well, It seems that Joker’s power is actually no joke. This Monday’s Oscar nominees lunch, held in the Ray Dolby ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland center, was entirely plant-based.
Host Illeana Douglas even made a crack about it: “I didn’t know it was going to be an actual plant,” she said, about the mushroom entree with black rice, winter squash, and cauliflowers. “At least it looked appetizing.”
The meal before the show on February 9 will be entirely plant-based as well, and following the awards, the Wolfgang Puck-catered meal at the annual Governor’s Ball will be 70 percent plant-based, with “sustainably farmed” fish and meat as an option.
A lot of celebs’ decision to go veg isn’t just about being healthy: the issue of sustainability as it relates to climate change has risen to the top of Hollywood’s concerns. Many stars have referenced the environment in speeches and interviews. “We don’t have to take private jets to Palm Springs for the awards sometimes—and back,” Phoenix said in his speech at the Golden Globes. Days later, he was detained by police during one of Jane Fonda’s Fire Drill Friday climate protests in Washington D.C.
“The Academy is an organization of storytellers from around the world, and we owe our global membership a commitment to supporting the planet,” the Academy said in a statement. “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 Joaquin Phoenix effect hasn’t permeated the music industry quite yet. On Sunday, the Grammys served giant steaks.
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