With all the poverty and hardship being suffered the world over, one can relax and be assured that the film world and its many actors and actresses are being taken care of. Take the 95th 2023 Oscar Awards, all 26 nominees were gifted a beautifully lavish suitcase, full of goodies worth at least $126,000 each. Yes, you read it correctly, at least $126,000!
Not your usual party bag of course, there were no balloons, slice of cake and a cuddly toy. No siree, this years gift bag covered everything from retail to real estate, including an Italian three night stay for eight guests in a restored Italian lighthouse, worth $9,000. A $40,000 getaway to a ten-acre Canadian estate. With cosmetic surgery vouchers, fresh Japanese bread and a one square metre plot of land in Queensland, Australia to boot. Obviously, this plot is protected from exploitation and human development – lets face it, only a gnome sized bungalow would fit – no offense to gnomes, so essentially it should remain a safe haven for flora and fauna. But there is outrage from the Indigenous groups who state the company that offers the nominees this gift, has taken photos and information without consent. Oops.
Swag bags over the years have included electric skateboards, coffee machines, robot dogs and even eye surgery. These gifts are free for the artists, although they have to pay taxes for them, luckily, they can claim this back as a business gift, phew.
If you think acting is all about glamour, respect, limousines and all that glitters, think again, there is a lot of time wasting, hanging around, being fed and watered, how awful.
Well for me, the word obscene comes to mind. Surely, all these goods, or cash could go to better use, mmm let me think for a moment, oh yes, charities, good causes, disaster funds or refugees, to name but a few.
Just for a second, think of our poor overworked and underpaid junior doctors, who after years at university start working at our local hospitals for £14 per hour. A typical day for them, equals out at approximately 10.5 hours per day, they have to buy their own food and drink, and often paying for the privilege to park at their place of work.
Forgive me for sounding a little cynical, but I think with good cause.