Diva-demands are becoming more eco-friendly as they become eco-conscious

Bafta’s sustainability arm called ‘Albert’ found that the average big-budget film produced 2,840 tons of carbon dioxide (2020). Their report is being cited by film stars who want to see a change in the demands made by divas as they contribute to global warming.

I’m thinking about private jets and fleets of luxury cars on standby. I’m also thinking about animal welfare. In 2009, Mariah Carey, the singer, requested 20 kittens and a hundred doves to surround her as she turned on the Westfield Christmas lights. And The Times reports that one diva demanded crystal champagne and litters of all-white kittens!

Sir Mark Rylance at the Cannes Festival
Sir Mark Rylance at the Cannes Festival. Image: Wiki Commons.

It appears that each celebrity wanted to outdo the other making ever more unsustainable demands. But the trend might be going into reverse as there is an increasing focus on celebrities brandishing their green credentials.

It is reported that a group of a hundred prominent actors have called time on the most preposterous carbon-emitting requirements.

Some high-profile actors and actresses have joined in the movement. For example, Dame Harriet Walter who played the wife of the Succession billionaire, Logan Roy has joined Juliet Stevenson, Bill Nighy, Stephen Fry and Sir Mark Rylance in penning an open letter setting out the need for actors’ riders to be more reasonable and to reflect a reined-in approach to their demands.

Here’s an extract from the letter thanks to The Times today:

It’s widely acknowledged that human beings face a direct, existential threat from climate breakdown. We must take the necessary steps to reduce emissions and restore health to the ecosystems that support life on earth. Stories have great power. They can change minds, inspire imaginations and spark cultural shifts. During Covid, our industry adapted in ways we could not have imagined. We can and will change again to tackle the climate emergency. As a high-emitting sector, our industry has a key part to play in the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon society.”

Further to that, the actors union, Equity, has proposed that there should be a “green rider” which should be added to their members’ contracts. The rider would state the actor’s sustainability commitments and their desire to negotiate methods and standards on set which are sustainable in terms of climate change before accepting the job.

Equities is discussing this scheme with ITV Studios, Sky Studios and the BBC in a desire to run a green rider pilot scheme. The idea is to switch to low carbon transport and, for example, to replace huge trailers with shared dressing areas and to request that producers produce their carbon-reduction plans.

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