Not only do the Oscar nominees get paid enormous sums for their acting abilities, but also they get about a quarter-of-a-million dollars worth of swag in the week leading up to the Oscars. This Sunday night at the Dolby Theater, nominees, presenters and others come together to honor Hollwood’s finest. As has been tradition, if you don’t walk away with a $400 gold-plated statue, your consolation prize is a “swag bag.” Over the years what’s inside that bag –which is not actually a bag, but rather suitcases delivered in advance of the Oscars to the starts — has grown in value exponentially. This year, the consolation gifts — courtesy of Distinctive Assets (one of the most luxurious product-placement companies) — include vouchers for a $78,000 cruise to Antarctica or the Mediterranean, a 12-day cruise for 220 guests on the Scenic Eclipse yacht, and a romantic stay in a lighthouse in Spain .
All of the 25 actor, actress and director nominees receive a bag, but this year there is one less because Scarlett Johansson is up for two awards (leading and supporting actress). In total the 24 bags are valued at more than $5 million. In addition to the trips and cruises, hard assets in the “bag” include a 24-karat gold leaf and amethyst bath bomb, a gold-plated Vape pen ($150) from Hollowtips, hydrogen-infused water, and chocolates. Gift certificates are all offered for memberships to things like a top-notch matchmaking company, tens of thousands of dollars worth of cosmetic treatments and procedures, and more.
The “Everyone Wins” nominee gift bag from Distinctive Assets distributed this year has an estimated value that is higher than last year’s by about $70,00. Even Insignia, luxury lifestyle management service, offers a $10,000 one-year membership that includes a personal assistant when traveling, and more … a gift that will come in handy for the cruise, the lighthouse stay, the vacation to Los Cabos and Hawaii that are in the package, and more. They even get a $20,000 24-karat gold Insignia card that is bedecked with diamonds, pearls and precious stones. Click here for a complete list from Good Morning America of the approximately 75 gifts in this year’s bag and those slated to receive them.
To many, this excess seems over the top, especially when given to some of the wealthiest people already earning millions of dollars for their acting and directing abilities. Three of the best actress nominees (Scarlett Johansson, Margot Robbie and Charlize Theron) are already on the Forbes highest-paid actresses in 2019 list. On the brighter side, though, they do have to pay income tax on the monetary value of all hard-gifts accepted and of the redeemed gifts.
Oh, right, and what’s this? No watches included. What happened there?