swag bag

Oscars Cheap Out on Swag Bags

95th Annual Academy Awards - Backstage
Photo: Al Seib/A.M.P.A.S/Getty Images

Austerity measures have hit Hollywood. Following a year in which writers and actors went on strike and several Marvel flops shook up the industry, it seems the money is not flowing as bountifully as it once did. Just a few months after the Golden Globes gift bags were worth a staggering $500,000, the Oscars swag bags are only valued at a paltry $170,000. How is art supposed to thrive in this kind of economy?

Distinctive Assets, an L.A.-based marketing company not affiliated with the actual Oscars, has put together swag bags for this year’s crop of nominees — only the pretty ones, though. “ We do this independently of the Academy, which means I get to decide who gets it, and it’s only the top acting and directing nominees,” Lash Fary, founder of Distinctive Assets, told Reuters.

In the gift bag, those 25 lucky nominees will find things like a three-night trip to Chalet Zermatt Peak in Switzerland ($50,000), a micro-needling session ($10,000), and a private show from “mentalist to the stars” Carl Christman ($10,000). On the lower end of the spectrum, the gift bag also includes a few of those prebiotic Poppi sodas ($9) and a bag of “raw, dehydrated organic and non-GMO” pet food ($65). There’s also a Rubik’s Cube (priceless).

As always, I must remind you that the IRS considers these gift bags taxable income, so all of it does come with a price. In comparison to the Golden Globes one, this swag bag is just not worth it. Where’s the world’s most expensive bottle of wine? The private class with “one of America’s Greatest Pizzaiolos”? You want me to believe Sandra Hüller will be satisfied by a celebrity mentalist? Get real.

Oscars Cheap Out on Swag Bags