Last weekend, the Environmental Media Association (EMA) hosted the 27th annual EMA Awards presented by Toyota and Lexus, at Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport.
The organization has grown into a diverse subsection of entertainment industry tastemakers, entrepreneurs in finance and technology, and green icons dedicated to the mission of promoting environmental progress and innovations through celebrity role modeling, campaign work, and year-round programs, as well as the EMA Awards.
Jaden Smith hosted this year’s show and introduced his sister, Willow Smith, who performed one of her original songs. The night was filled with many celebrities who supported this incredible cause, including Ian Somerhalder, Lance Bass, Amy Smart, Karrueche Tran, Scottie Thompson, Philippe Cousteau, Jordana Brewster, and Kristen Hancher.
On display for guests to check out was the new Toyota Mirai which runs on hydrogen and emits no harmful exhaust or greenhouse gases; its only emission is water.
EMA President & CEO Debbie Levin opened the evening exclaiming, “Through all this noise one thing has become clearer than ever: the need for one unified voice educating the nation and the globe about the dangers of turning our back on the environment, and the importance of investing in the future of our planet.”
Gina Rodriguez presented Natalie Portman with the EMA Ongoing Commitment Award, whom she met while working on Annihilation. “Natalie did it all while we were on set. She was a humble, gracious leader. She was kind and everything you prayed she would be. Little did I know she was doing more than what she was doing on set, being the woman we all aspire to be. We need those leaders. We need those warriors in our lives.”
Natalie Portman accepted her award and thanked her parents for raising her with an awareness of environmental issues despite everything else happening in their lives. “It is worth remembering that a generation that stood against the war in the sixties and seventies, also stood up for this planet we call home,” said Portman. “May all of us tonight commit to doing whatever we can to ensure our planet and our children have the chance to enjoy the kind of future that is truly ongoing.”
Russell Simmons accepted his award and challenged the audience to eat a plant-based diet. “The number one cause of global warming is the animals you eat. To destroy our planet and be the worst disaster is conscious behavior. You have to wake up and be more conscious. We need to work together and really put the hammer down.”
John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of the professional hair-care company John Paul Mitchell Systems and ultra-premium tequila brand Patrón Spirits, accepted the EMA Innovator Award and made a pledge to the environment. “Tonight, we are pledging to plant 30,000 trees in the United States, Central America, and South America. We said we were going to change the world but we didn’t have the money or the influence. Today we do and we are going to do it.”
2017 Film and Television EMA Awards Winners
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
Sesame Street, “The Recycling Fairy”
REALITY TELEVISION PROGRAM
Years of Living Dangerously, “Collapse of the Oceans”
TELEVISION EPISODIC DRAMA
The Crown, “Act of God”
TELEVISION EPISODIC COMEDY
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Episode 105 “Coal”
All images courtesy of EMA.