Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"She's Not A Bartender ... But She Plays One on TV"

So... those of us women who have worked in the entertainment industry in Hollywood have regularly complained about the way women are perceived and treated... particularly those women who are knowledgeable rather than merely beautiful. It is difficult for a gal to get the respect she deserves.

Well, call me naive, but I was quite shocked to get an invitation to a bar guide launch / cocktail-related event which hired model-slash-actress Molly Simms to host, alongside Dale DeGroff.

Now, we all know that Dale is the King of Cocktails. If anyone deserves to headline an event such as this, it is he. But, wtf does an actress/model have to do with it?

When I posed this question to the organizers of this event, the response was basically that although Ms. Simms is in no way actually working in the liquor / bar industry, she plays a bartender on the mediocre nighttime soap opera show, Las Vegas. That seems to be all the requirements for the female host.

Why would anyone who actually knows a thing or two about the cocktail industry look to Molly Simms for advice on where to drink, what to order or what a quality cocktail actually is?

You can read the exchange for yourselves… but good grief! This is a slap in the face to all of the respected female mixologists / bartenders / brand ambassadors out there.

My question: “Just curious, though --- why is Molly Simms involved with this event? There are many mixologists (such as Dale DeGroff) male and female who are actually involved with the liquor industry. I don't get what an "actress / model" has to do with our industry?? Love clarification on that so I can present it fairly on The Liquid Muse Blog... I certainly have my own opinions about hiring a model when a female mixologist would be much more appropriate for this kind of event...”

The response: “Molly Sims, an A-List celebrity and bartender on the former NBC series Las Vegas, is very familiar with how the entertainment industry affects Americans’ perceptions of entertaining and cocktail culture (i.e. Sex and the City and the revival of the cosmopolitan). She has gained a deep understanding of how one’s decisions when placing an order or recommending a restaurant can greatly affect someone’s perception of you. Molly is also a seasoned traveler and will be sharing her experiences on the difficulties of finding establishments that best fit your mood, wallet and tastebuds.”

Huh? I respectfully disagree. Whether we’re talking Audrey Saunders, Charlotte Voissey (the list goes on and on) or any other woman who is actually involved in our industry and has the chops for this kind of thing (and yes, likely travels, too, I might add), it is particularly sad that even the big liquor conglomerates (yes, there is one involved with this event) is so incredibly misguided in this kind of decision.

Is the liquor industry in line to become the next big sell out? If actress-slash-models are guiding what we should drink and where, NOBODY will “drink well.”

Photo borrowed from this article.


gwen sutherland kaiser said...

this makes me sick. SICK. i'm so over of male chauvinism and celebritism.

natalie, you f'ing RULE for bringing the planning of this event's misstep to light.

go you!

Damyanti said...

Back here after a while, must catch up on all the posts I have missed!

Janet said...

Glad you posted... I hadn't heard this yet. Their justification of Molly Simms was absurd. If it is good looks that they want, we certainly have plenty of beautiful female mixologists that would add substance to the show. If they are banking on Ms. Simms's "A-List" status, I think that went out back in the days of the House of Style!