Though animal lovers and philanthropists ourselves, Dr. Chiu and I hadn’t fully realized the magnitude of love and support the entertainment and news media industry has for our furry, flying, chirping, sea-swimming friends until we attended the highly-acclaimed 24th Annual Genesis Awards on March 20th 2010 at the Beverly Hills Hilton. We were humbled, saddened, inspired, and enlightened as we celebrated animals in television and film and confronted instances of animal cruelty throughout our country. The passion of writers, producers, directors and others in the Industry in raising public awareness of animal rights issues is incredible and their awards well-deserved. The Human Society of the United Statescontinues to make phenomenal progress in animal rights legislation across the Nation, including the passage of 121 new animal protection laws in 2009 involving puppy mills, factory farming, animal fighting, and fur labeling.
Embarrassingly so, this event was particularly memorable because I shared my very first gourmet Vegan meal with 700 animal rights activists, who probably would’ve had my head had I asked for butter. Luckily, every bite was more delicious than the previous and I licked my gold-plated plates clean. Who would’ve guessed that a vegan dessert could be this decadent: “Exotic Tropical Fruit with Coconut Cream and Dark Chocolate Leaf served in a Martini Glass”?! Such dishes by Chef Tal, author of The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat, and Vegan Chef to the U.S. Senate and Oprah were beyond amazing. For a long moment there, I seriously contemplated converting to veganism.
Other highlights of the evening included chatting with both celebrity and everyday animal rights luminaries in the VIP reception and after-party. From the enchanting Tippi Hedren, 20-year Genesis Awards presenter and 2010’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and the incredible Keely Shaye Pierce, 2-time Genesis Award winner, I learned that with increased visibility comes increased social responsibility. Even the Los Angeles Firefighter Joe St. Georges, who rescued a dog from the dangers of our L.A. River, and the 2 gals who went undercover to shut down Hump, a Santa Monica restaurant illegally serving whale, taught me that everyday provides at least one opportunity to make a difference for animals. Compassion for animals indeed crosses all social boundaries.
In case you’re wondering, I wore a custom-designed Badgley Mischka gown, which to my knowledge, harmed no animals in its production. My leather Louboutins were tossed, in exchange for a pair of animal-friendly satin Casadei pumps. No leather clutch for me either; I accessorized only with diamonds and aJudith Leiber satchel. (Negative social impact of diamonds and child labor is a different topic that we would have to discuss another day). I believe Dr. Chiu wore a Yes Saint Laurent suit, Hermes scarf, and also Lassie-approved shoes and beltsJ He even left his leather wallet at home and carried cash in his pockets! Baby steps, right?
To borrow from Dug, the dog in Up (which won for Outstanding Feature Film), “To the Human Society: I have just met you. And I love you.”
Among this year’s celebrity presenters and attendees were Antonio Banderas, Kristen Bell, Pierce Brosnan, Emily Deschanel, Jessalyn Gilsig, Ginnifer Goodwin, Melanie Griffith, Teri Hatcher, Tippi Hedren, Jon Lovitz, Maria Menounos and Moby.
The 24th Genesis Awards will air on Animal Planet on Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25.
The event is sponsored in part by Market Development Group, Inc.,Prai Beauty Group, Tenet, Deluxe, Honda, Euro RSCG, and Bernheim Promotion.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web athumanesociety.org
THE 24TH GENESIS AWARDS WINNERS
OUTSTANDING FEATURE FILM – Joint Winners
HOTEL FOR DOGS
DREAMWORKS PICTURES, NICKELODEON MOVIES
For a charming tale celebrating the special bond between children and dogs, while paralleling the plight of dogs and kids in need of permanent homes and families.
WALT DISNEY PICTURES, PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS
For the inspiring message that it’s never too late to realize one’s dreams and that fighting to save a rare bird, along with the companionship of a new-found canine friend, can make that dream a reality.
OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY FILM
LIONSGATE, ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS, OCEANIC PRESERVATION SOCIETY
For an enthralling, thriller-style exposé of Japan’s shameful dolphin slaughter
that cannot fail to make activists of all who see it.
SID CAESAR COMEDY AWARD
FAMILY GUY “Dog Gone”
FOX TV ANIMATION, FUZZY DOOR PRODUCTIONS, 20TH CENTURY FOX
For applying its signature satire to the apathy and the paradoxical attitudes that allow animal exploitation and abuse to continue.
OUTSTANDING DRAMATIC SERIES
BONES “The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken”
For a complex “who done it” that makes the unpleasant truth about the inhumane treatment of chickens at industrial slaughter plants plain and simple – they’re no place for man or bird!
OUTSTANDING CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMING
NICK NEWS WITH LINDA ELLERBEE
“Kids to the Rescue! Helping Homeless Animals”
For an empowering message about extraordinary kids who are taking real action on behalf of homeless animals which serves as a lesson to all ages on how to effect change.
OUTSTANDING TV NEWSMAGAZINE
ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
For taking a fearless stand against all forms of animal cruelty, bringing to light the most widespread and egregious, and taking on the institutions behind them.
OUTSTANDING NEWS FEATURE
KCBS / KCAL TV News at 11 (Los Angeles)
“Animal Shelter Abuse,” ”Faux Fur Investigation”
For bold investigative reporting, exposing the culture of cruelty at an animal shelter and the business of deception in selling garments trimmed with animal fur falsely advertised as “faux.”
OUTSTANDING NEWS SERIES
KLAS-TV 8 (Las Vegas) “I-Team: Shark Fin Soup”
For an unprecedented inquiry into the cruelty of shark-finning and the pervasive and little-known black market for shark fin soup that thrives in the U.S.
OUTSTANDING MORNING NEWS SHOW
TODAY for multiple segments by Jill Rappaport
For a diverse and prolific output of companion animal stories which consistently hit all the right notes with their keen attention to humane considerations.
OUTSTANDING TALK SHOW
THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW
“Eating Animals” author Jonathan Safran Foer
For a fascinating and relatable conversation about the inhumane treatment of animals raised for food that enlightens, encourages, and inspires viewers to make a difference.
OUTSTANDING TV DOCUMENTARY
DEATH ON A FACTORY FARM
For with a daring undercover investigation into abuse at an Ohio hog factory farm and a searing look at the ensuing trial, which revealed how the law favors agribusiness interests.
OUTSTANDING REALITY SERIES
WHALE WARS “The Stuff of Nightmares”
For propelling the viewer onto the frontlines of the heroic struggle to save whales from being slaughtered in the name of “scientific research,” and for not shying away from the reality of what that slaughter entails.
OUTSTANDING TV FILM
A DOG NAMED CHRISTMAS
For the poignant story of a special dog who, by inspiring a developmentally challenged young man to rally his community to foster shelter dogs over the holiday, transforms the lives of all concerned.
BRIGITTE BARDOT INTERNATIONAL
ANIMAL PLANET EUROPE
For chronicling the extraordinary rescue of two bears from abysmal conditions at a Romanian zoo and their release into the care of a remarkable woman and her sanctuary.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
For her pioneering and tireless advocacy on behalf of captive big cats,
and for being a passionate advocate for the protection of all animals.
OUTSTANDING SERIES OF NEWSPAPER ARTICLES
multiple articles by Bill Lueders
For documenting the grim and haunting truth about animals used in research in a city dominated by one of the largest animal research facilities in the country.
“The New Age of Extinction” and “The Real Cost of Cheap Food” by Bryan Walsh, and “Abused No More” by David Von Drehle
For three articles, which articulate why we must care about all life on our planet, the toll cheap food takes on factory farm animals, and the efforts to rehabilitate abused fighting dogs.
O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE
“What Are They Thinking?” by Eugene Linden, “Wild Things” by Rick Bass,
and “Operation Rescue” by Barry Yeoman
For providing unique and thought-provoking insights into animal intelligence, humankind’s impact on wild animals, and the ugly world of animal hoarding in an exceptional issue dedicated to our fellow creatures.
BRIGITTE BARDOT INTERNATIONAL PRINT
THE INDEPENDENT (UK)
multiple articles by Martin Hickman
For a prolific output of highly informative articles underscoring the connections between the myriad foods and products we consume and the abuse and exploitation of animals.
Contributed by Christine Chiu. Images from Long Photography 2010.
ABOUT CHRISTINE ALEXANDRA CHIU
Always perfectly poised and impeccably coiffed, CHRISTINE CHIU is a recognized tastemaker, beauty expert and luxury lifestyle authority who has appeared in leading media outlets such as UsWeekly, BeautyBlitz and Haute Living magazine. Whether she’s socializing with celebrities, fashion models and royalty or working side-by-side her husband as Managing Partner and Spa Director at Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Inc., Christine never fails to delight in the way a tummy tuck, injectable, or even a simple chemical peel can truly empower a woman, and in turn, her career and relationships.
After spending 8 years in the beauty and public relations industries, Christine and her husband, celebrity plastic surgeon, Dr. Gabriel Chiu, openedBeverly Hills Plastic Surgery Inc. Their Chanel-inspired office and luxury medispa is a favorite among the social elite and exemplifies everything the Chius believe in, including Christine’s vision of a timeless, luxurious beauty destination for men and women. www.bhpsinc.com
Fiercely loyal to her community, Christine is an avid supporter of the Junior League of Los Angeles, John Wayne Cancer Institute, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and GenArt, amongst many others. She is a lifetime member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority and a sponsor of Step Up Women’s Network in many capacities. After receiving her International Business degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Ca., Christine and Dr. Gabriel Chiu now reside in their modern Mediterranean home in Beverly Hills with their American Eskimo, Kokonut.
The Chius are actively involved in numerous charities and organizations. Their respect within the community as leaders and philanthropists is well documented. One of their personal rules is to take time to travel at least once per month, whether on yachting trips, Parisian excursions, or stays at their overseas villas. The Chius also enthusiastically celebrate and patronize culinary arts, fashion, and culture.