Adam Driver might have stolen the hype from fellow Best Actor nominee Joaquin Phoenix, but the latter is still in for a treat at the 2020 Golden Globes on Sunday night. On Thursday, the Globes announced that it will serve an entirely plant-based meal at the ceremony, marking a first in its 77-year history. Even if Phoenix, who lost 52 pounds for his starring role in Joker, doesn't win the award, well, at least the vegan and part-time animal rights advocate will start off awards season well-fed.
"The climate crisis is surrounding us and we were thinking about the new year and the new decade. So we started talking between us about what we can do to send a signal," Lorenzo Soria, the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, told the Hollywood Reporter of the group's decision. "We don’t think we'll change the world with one meal, but we decided to take small steps to bring awareness. The food we eat, the way it is processed and grown and disposed of, all of that contributes to the climate crisis." A post on the official Globes Facebook page echoed Soria's sentiments: "We know Awards shows have a long way to go, and we all can do better."
According to Matthew Morgan, executive chef at the Beverly Hilton, this wasn't always the plan. The HFPA only got in touch with him a few days before Christmas, after they'd already set on a menu featuring fish. Instead, this year's attendees will be treated to chilled golden beet soup with locally grown chervil and amaranth as appetizers, and a main course of scallop-like king oyster mushrooms with wild mushroom risotto, roasted baby purple and green brussels sprouts, pea tendrils, and—fittingly enough—"globe carrots." As for dessert, Morgan promised "a take on an opera cake."
As for the alcohol—the real focus of the Globes—the HFPA is sticking with the ceremony's longtime official sponsor, Moët & Chandon. (Fortunately it's vegan-friendly, unlike some other champagnes.) In other beverage-related news, it doesn't sound like the Fiji Water Girl will not be getting another invite; as part of its pledge to eliminate single-use plastic, the HFPA is also partnering with Icelandic Glacial to serve water only from bottles made of glass.
The final portion of the HFPA's pledge—to (at least try to) reuse the red carpet at other events—might be the most effective, if only because it serves as a reminder of how there's really no way that an event like the Globes could be remotely sustainable in the first place. There's only so much you can do to reduce your carbon footprint when more than a thousand guests need to travel by car or plane. What's more, the plant-based mini-revolution won't even be televised: To minimize the noise level of clinking during the broadcast, the meal is typically whisked away by 5 p.m. (Though the alcohol, of course, stays put.) There's a good chance most of that food will end up in the trash anyway, too: "You put 1,500 salads out and maybe 700 come back up, and then hardly anybody eats the entrées," the chef behind the 73rd edition of the Globes told the New Food Economy in 2018.
The notion that simply reusing a giant red carpet would be a step in the right direction shows just how far the entertainment industry has to go in achieving any semblance of sustainability—though that doesn't mean it won't try. After all, practicality hasn't stopped the fashion industry from its heavily publicized efforts to go "carbon neutral."