TV & Showbiz

The Price Isn’t Green?


Today, April 22nd, is Earth Day.  Earth Day is a big deal for a lot of people, and I’m glad that there are so many people who claim to give a darn about the environment at least one day a year.

One of the most unlikely ways one might expect to celebrate the annual event would be to watch a game show, but The Price is Right is doing a special episode today with “green” prizes:

“Wednesday’s episode of the CBS game show will feature environmentally friendly products including cellphones made of recycled materials, solar charging equipment and a recycling cabinet.

“Environmentalist and actor Ed Begley will introduce a showcase that includes an electric bike, golf cart and Toyota Prius hybrid car. Trips offered during the show will be paired with donations to offset carbon emissions.”

I’ve just learned something new.  I had no idea that Ed Begley was such a recognized authority on the environment that he’d qualify for a guest appearance.  I suppose Al Gore must have been too busy inventing Web 3.0.

Over at a fan site for ‘Price’ that I visit from time to time, there are a lot of fans who aren’t impressed with this idea.  (To be fair, since Bob Barker retired from the show two seasons ago, many of them aren’t impressed with much of anything.)  But a few of them have had some not-so-nice things to say about the entertainment industry jumping on the Earth Day bandwagon, essentially accusing the industry of being hypocritical:

“They are the biggest wasters of energy and resources…their over-indulgent parties, private jets, limos, personal fleet of cars (of course, a Prius will be one of the cars in their fleet), and large mansions (just take a look at their electric bill!).”

Here’s another one:

Price Is Right is all about stuff, stuff, stuff.  It’s all about consuming.  It’s all about getting a lot of stuff.  It’s all about getting something new and throwing out the old stuff you have!  It’s all about big, glamorous, stuff that you really don’t need (private jets!) that waste resources.”

I don’t recall a private jet given away as a prize, but maybe that person knows something I don’t.

But the funny thing about this sudden anger is this:  if these are fans of the show and they’re this resentful of what the show is all about, why are they fans at all?

No, I’m not kidding.  Surely it didn’t take them 37 years — ‘Price’ premiered in 1972, long before many members on that site were born — to realize that the show, along with most other game shows, are about stuff.  Even those that hand out cash only assume that you’re going to pick up more stuff with the cash they hand you.

So if you think the show, from an environmental standpoint, is the devil, then watch something else.  If you think Hollywood is so wasteful, why partake in its offerings?  Don’t set foot in a movie theater or DVD store.  Otherwise, you’re the hypocrite you think they are because you’re continuing to support their bad bahavior.

While I agree to a point about extravagances in the entertainment industry, the AIG bonuses scandal and excessive governmental spending clearly proves that it isn’t a Hollywood-only problem; at least Hollywood is taking part long enough to encourage people to cut wastefulness where they can.  That’s still a lot more than some others are doing, isn’t it?

Over at the site, here’s the response I left:

“Well here’s a thought for all of you who are so eagerly blasting the entertainment industry for its green efforts: since you hate Hollywood and its motives so much, why don’t you go SUPER-GREEN by turning off the television and not watching at all?

“Consider the hour of electricity you’d have consumed when ‘Price’ would have been on your gift to the environment.”

I’m sure that by the time Thursday’s show comes around, these little environmental soldiers will have completely forgotten their anger and they’ll be cheering for Plinko once again.  Hope their little one-day tirades made them feel like they somehow cut their carbon footprint.


  1. Carly, it wasn’t my intention to be snippy at Ed Begley. I just didn’t realize that he was such an authority on green living. In his case, I wasn’t trying to be sarcastic; Begley just isn’t the first person I think of when I think about the environmental movement.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong at all with encouraging people to do something to be more environmentally-friendly. The point of my post was to target fans of The Price is Right who seem to simultaneously dislike the show’s “consumerist,” wasteful nature while at the same time jumping on it for trying to make people more aware.

    My point was to suggest, though perhaps I wasn’t clear enough, that they should pick one or the other: if it’s okay for the show to be what they’d call wasteful, then they shouldn’t complain about the nature of the show. If it’s not okay, they shouldn’t be watching the rest of the year and certainly shouldn’t be complaining if the show takes one day out of the year to do it “right.”

  2. Hi Patrick 🙂

    Um… first off, just a question, why so snippy at Ed Begley and Al Gore? Both are good men, trying their best to improve life on earth. That’s a good thing… right? As for Ed Begley, he has spent at least the last 25 years setting an example regarding environmental issues, especially here in California. He is doing good. I kinda have to admire that. Just a thought, check out his website and see what the man is about.

    Have a good week!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.