The doer versus the spectator
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie and Quentin Tarantino: some of the biggest stars of the principal categories of the 2020 Oscars who left without a golden man. However, these stars did not exactly leave empty-handed. In 2001, The Academy began administering swag bags for all of the nominees in the leading categories: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Roles and Best Director. Recognized by their luxurious gifts and expensive cost, the bags were soon investigated by IRS, and The Academy officially put an end to the superfluous gifts.
This is when Distinctive Assets stepped in.
Unaffiliated with the Oscars, it is now Distinctive Assets who sponsors these swag bags for the top nominees. Those who accept are subject to an income tax, and in recent years the refusal of the swag bag has occurred. But the 2020 Oscar swag bags entail the most luxurious items of them all — how could anyone resist?
A tried-and-true initiation to “thank you” speeches usually follows along the lines of being so “humbled” to have been chosen. That they are undeserving. Small hints of hesitation may be disclosed, but all is forgotten when the gift bag arrives. The winners may take more pleasure with their goodies while the losers find solace on their 12-day “Scenic Eclipse” cruise, during their secluded getaway in a Spanish lighthouse or perhaps during one of their cosmetic treatments, worth around $25,000 in itself.
How embarrassing it must be for Margot Robbie, Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Theron (all included in Forbes’ List of Highest-Paid Actresses this year) to be snubbed for their incredible performances. Money couldn’t buy them an Oscar, but it could buy stays at Wellness Resorts and phone calls with a Life Coach to help them push forward.
Though the nominees may be Hollywood stars leading entirely different lives to that of average citizens like us, all of us are connected by our universal appreciation for comfort food. Is there anyone in need of more comfort following the Oscars than the forgotten nominees? While there are McDonalds in Hollywood, what better way to welcome a win or cope with a loss than with Mad Mac Macarons, dinner for two at Flora’s Field Kitchen in Cabo, Mexico, a guided tasting of Coda’s Signature Chocolate edibles and more.
Distinctive Assets ensure the nominees feel rewarded. Guaranteed relaxation is tacked on to the luxuries in the swag bags, persuading the stars to take a break. To let loose and enjoy themselves. After all, life is hard for millionaires.
The swag bag has all one could ever need to partake in rather than merely lustful activities. Romantic getaways, gold-infused bath bombs, trips to a destination spa, everything condoning pleasure and indulgence, sealed with a red ribbon and placed into the hands of the biggest faces in film today.
Distinctive Assets knows just the route to take to prevent stars from speaking out. Dilute their anger with gifts, let them know they will get to take a prize home. Smother them with jokes about the lack of women nominations for Best Director and rather repetitive jokes about the lack of representation present in the nominations and the audience, preventing them from insisting that those with power do something about it. Find the fury and diminish it with hydrogen-infused water and a brain-wave sensing meditation headband. Turn their anger into gratitude. Turn their wrath into acceptance.
Envy, our final sin, does not belong to the argued perpetrator.
The final sin belongs to us.
While the Oscars swag bags may not be the most moral signifiers of achievement for our beloved Hollywood stars, is it not our own envy that drives us to make these claims of dubious intent? These accusations are reeking with jealousy. I enviously type away, framing these stars and their acknowledgments, deeming them unworthy of such acclaim due to my own insecurity that my own achievements and impacts will never equate. But these celebrities are doing their job. A job we liken to worth, notability and success. A job we label as impressive, a necessary asset to the functioning of our society. Are we not the engine driving such award shows to take place?
We are greedy for quality films, prideful in our original opinions, gluttonous for movie snacks, lazy as we stream from our beds, lustful in our engagement with the indecent scenes, angry when our top pick doesn’t win, and we. Are. Envious. Jealous in our recognition that we have such small odds of being on that stage. That we will never be gifted anything as salivating.
Perhaps we are the most sinful of all.