Oscar presenters to receive $20,000 in gifts

I don’t usually do this. I’m not one of those people, for example, who believe that we can’t send another rocket into space without first feeding every hungry person, housing all the homeless, and solving every other problem on Earth. I don’t have a problem with the fact that celebrities are paid millions of dollars for each movie, or even, in some cases, every TV episode they make. They’re popular, some even highly talented, and they deserve to be paid well. Acting strikes me as very hard work, when you’re lucky enough to be working.

But in God’s name, why do they need $20000 gift packages for presenting the Academy Awards? As for the gifts, they are mostly going to be short vacations and dinners–IIRC dinner for 10 at some upscale steakery, a five day trip to some hideaway in the California wine region, and another trip elsewhere. In addition, there were a few tchochke-and-or-clothing type items. WTF? These people are multimillionaires. They own mansions in Malibu and lodges in Aspen. Any one of these people could afford these things with their pocket money. This is where I’d like to see some socially conscious actors, in stead of protesting the war, refuse the gifts and ask that the money be spent for some constructive purpose.

Anyone else feel the same way? Is there another way I should look at this?

Oops, I mean they could afford the Oscar gifts with their pocket money, not necessarily the mansions and lodges.

I know nothing about the awards, so forgive me if this is a stupid question: Do the presenters volunteer, or are the conscripted by their unions or something?


I’d like to see a cite for $20k, but I’m familiar with the handout bags that celebs get at some of these events. They usually include things like an X-Box or perfume or trips to a spa or whatever. It’s promotion. The company hopes the celeb will fall in love with Splinter Cell or Lily-Ass spa or whatever. Then when our newly hooked celeb mentions GTA:VC in an interview or someone asks where they “spa”, the place/company gets a plug. Likewise, often during the awards show we get a peek at what’s in the bag. Instant commercial.


to my knowledge, these gifts are donated by the companies that rep those items…so the Napa B&B donates it to get, say, Bruce Willis to come and stay with them. It’s really just smart business-impress one high-roller hollywood type and he’ll come back with his entorage or family when he’s thinking of taking another vacation.

They don’t give the gifts because the stars can or cannot afford the gifts, they give them for continued business.


Apparently at the Junos (Grammys for Canadians) they have only one trophy per category. That means, if your rockin’ jazz band wins, one of you gets the trophy and the rest have to purchase it ! (Cite: my friend who plays in a rockin’ jazz band.)

That made me laugh my arse off the first time I heard it (I love Canada! Where the underappreciation of our artists knows no bounds …), and it’s twice as funny now …

Huh. I would think that the honor of presenting the award for Best Sound Editing on a Children’s Musical. :rolleyes:

Damn. What I meant to say was

At least I got the rollyeyes right.

$20,000 is the retail value that would be paid by a clueless moron with way more money that sense.

The actual value of these items, based on their cost of materials and labour, is $187.53 per today’s exchange rate between the U.S. Dollar and the Vietnamese Dong.

The question has been pretty well answered. Items are donated by the companies so that celebs will use them. If they’re lucky they’ll be pictured with the celebrity on a photo in People magazine. I read that in many cases, the companies have to pay the Academy in order to be allowed to donate their gift.

That all being said, many celebrities are shameless when it comes to getting free stuff. My wife worked for a company that sold a few popular brands of footware. They’d get calls all the time from representatives of A-list celebs asking for free samples. They’d gladly send them too. Having your product show up on a popular sitcom or talk show is worth a fortune.


I remembered this story on the Grammy baskets that I think explains it pretty well. It is all about marketing and pushing products.

The winners of the previous year’s acting awards traditionally present the award for the same category level to the other-sex winner (e.g. last year’s best actor will present to this year’s best actress). Presenting an Academy Award is, or at least used to be, considered something of an honor. It’s also a chance for a person to be seen by hundreds of millions of movie-goers around the world. I have no information on the lobbying that goes into being invited to be a presenter but being that it’s Hollywood I imagine it’s fairly intense.

During the recent college football bowl season I saw an article on, IIRC, CNNSI, about gift baskets that players would be getting. All the players in the Sugar Bowl, and I would assume the coaches, got gift baskets with things like MP3 players and watches and assorted other things. The value was at least over $1000.

Hey, buddy, when celebrities are asked to host an awards show in which celebrities give other celebrities awards just for being celebrities then, goddamn it all, you’d better treat those celebrities like celebrities.


I hadn’t thought of that, and it does make business sense.

I overheard the $20K figure on some entertainment news show, but I don’t know which one.

Here’s a link for the 2002 Oscars. $20K is indeed the average.

So, in 2002, it was:[quot]The 40 items include:

  • Tempur-Pedic mattress, any size. Value up to $1,700
  • La-Z-Boy recliners, choice of four. $539 to $1,199
  • Three-night stay at Esperanza, a luxury resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. $3,000
  • Allsteel #19 office chair. $1,195 to $1,495 (Lou Horvitz will direct the Oscars from one made especially for him.)
  • Hewlett-Packard Photosmart 715 camera. $499.99
  • Sama sunglasses designed for the Oscars, for women only. $300
  • Stainless steel Ebel watch. $1,600 for the women with a mother-of-pearl dial, $1,450 for the men with a white roman dial
  • Flying Fig scarf. $300 to $1,100
  • 90-minute Godiva chocolate body wrap at Ajune, a New York spa. $175
  • Jenni Originals VegeSoy candle, handmade from an exclusive blend of soybean and vegetable waxes. $12.95
  • Lancôme gift certificates. $200
  • Gift certificate for Sonya Dakar, a problem-skin specialist. $500
  • Complimentary teeth whitening at Brite Smile. $600.
  • Birkenstock gift certificate. $300


Dammit! :smack: grumble Coding… grumble

“One of my fans once sent me a gift basket full of Vidal Sassoon hair-care products. Which was wonderful, but then I looked, and they were all for dry, damaged hair…” - Margaret Cho

Do you mean to tell me that people waste perfectly good Godiva chocolate on body wraps? :eek: :eek: :eek:

Well, depending on the type of spa (;);)), they’d still get eaten…