A tradition stretching back nearly two decades, the annual gift bag from marketing company Distinctive Assets gives select nominees in the Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Director categories up to 75 bespoke gifts.
Peasant that I am, I can’t get the image of Brad Pitt wandering around with a branded paper bag containing travel size shaving foam and some cat food, delighted with his ‘free stuff,’ out of my head. But these ‘bags’ are more like lorry loads, so they get discreetly delivered the next day, not handed out at an afterparty.
The only problem is that clearly the ‘gift-givers’ forgot about woke Hollywood’s environmentally conscious discourse.
Twenty-four nominees in acting categories – including the likes of Joaquin Phoenix, Leonardo DiCaprio and Renee Zellweger – will receive opulent gifts worth over $5 million collectively, each including 24-carat-gold bath bombs, a custom stained-glass portrait (vanity knows no bounds), a certificate for a ‘one of a kind’ cannabis-infused chocolate culinary experience worth $10,000, a 24-carat-gold vape pen, five-star breaks in Ibiza and Waikiki, and – most bafflingly – a 12-day trip for two on the world’s first ultra-luxury expedition yacht, the Scenic Eclipse, valued at $78,190.
The diesel-powered yacht boasts eight restaurants, a spa sanctuary, helicopters, a submarine capable of depths of nearly 200 meters to allow for explorations ‘far beyond any done on expedition ships to date’, indoor and outdoor plunge pools, butler service and an almost 1:1 guest-to-staff ratio.
You’d almost forget that Hollywood has been preaching to us underlings about climate change and how we must all do our utmost. Instead, the elite get to go to Antarctica – home to a fragile environment, melting icebergs and receding glaciers – spewing out engine emissions and pollution. Double standards much?
Let’s hope the impact on the planet gets fully mitigated by the Academy’s vaunted decision to switch to a plant-based menu at the luncheon for nominees on awards night.
The lavish cruise looks especially tone-deaf when gifted to the likes of Greta Thunberg’s pal Leonardo DiCaprio or preaching climate warrior Joaquin Phoenix.
While accepting an award for best performance by an actor in a motion picture (drama) at the Golden Globes, the ‘Joker’ star thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for their own plant-based evening menu, “recognizing and acknowledging the link between animal agriculture and climate change. It really sends a powerful message.”
He also referenced the recent Australian wildfires: “It’s really nice that so many people have come up and sent their well wishes to Australia, but we have to do more than that.”
It’s unlikely he’ll be eating blowfish at the Scenic Eclipse captain’s table, but ‘we’ means ‘you people’ in the broader sense. When it comes to the environment, real sacrifice has to occur below, not in the top echelons.
Stars can do as they please. They can always mitigate their guilt by wearing the ‘biodegradable bust support tape’, another gift in the endless bag of goodies.
The tape is 95 percent sustainable and organic eco-friendly cotton, and gives celebs the stretch and strong support they need. We can sleep soundly tonight knowing that a wealthy star is availing themselves of a sensitive body adhesive that’s nylon and latex free, hypoallergenic and can even be reused.
“While our ‘Everyone Wins’ gift bag is certainly not given based on need, it is assembled with a profound sense of gratitude for the incredible performances these talented individuals shared with all of us this year,” co-founder of Distinctive Assets Lash Fary said in 2006.
Fary added that, while the gift bag “does have an impressive value,” a “great gift has nothing to do with a price tag.”
Is that why Queen Latifah, who was nominated for best supporting actress for her role in ‘Chicago’ in 2002, commented that all she really wanted from the evening was a good bag?
“I’m looking forward to that basket. I can’t wait to see what’s in it,” she told celebrity news website IMDb.
“I don’t care how much money you have; free stuff is always a good thing.”
You said it.