Blackstone’s quarantine-themed holiday video stars sanitizer, sourdough starter and Santa

CEO Stephen Schwarzman combats Zoom fatigue with cardboard cutout

National /
Dec.December 17, 2020 11:30 AM
Blackstone president Jon Gray (Photo via YouTube)

Blackstone president Jon Gray (Photo via YouTube)

Icons of quarantine life — including sourdough starter, “Tiger King,” hand sanitizer and Zoom — all make cameos in the Blackstone Group’s annual holiday video, a spoof inspired by “The Office” that’s usually cringeworthy, occasionally funny and at least somewhat entertaining.

Blackstone started producing the videos three years ago. The video features company president and COO Jon Gray as Mr. Sunshine, trying to spread holiday cheer while outfitted in an ugly Christmas sweater and Santa hat.

But Covid-19 has changed things slightly this time around: In this year’s eight-minute clip, Gray uses a megaphone to make himself heard through his facemask while social distancing. Two employees, Ken Caplan and David Blitzer, don shoulder length wigs, in a nod to salon closures this spring. And CEO Stephen Schwarzman sets up a cardboard cutout of himself to attend — or avoid — Zoom meetings.

There’s also a Secret Santa gift swap organized by Gray, who doles out gifts including toilet paper, hand sanitizer swiped from the office conference room, cat calendars and coupons. It’s hardly surprising when employees don’t tell Gray when he spends an entire meeting on mute.

The video culminates with Blackstone thanking first responders, essential workers and teachers.

“Your commitment and bravery have been a source of hope, inspiration and sunshine,” a caption reads, before cutting to clips of employees dancing, lip syncing and celebrating their efforts.

[Bloomberg] — E.B. Solomont






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