After last year’s Will Smith/Chris Rock slapfest, it seems like this year’s Oscars has a lot of damage control to do. So what better way to fix their tarnished image than by adding a square metre of rural Queensland to its goodie bags?
Yes for some bizarre reason, the Oscars noms will be not only be going home with a hangover but a little piece of Queensland?? Honestly, I’m just tickled by the image of Paul Mescal pitching up a small tent on his square metre of rural Queensland.
The brand handing out the gift is called Pieces of Australia, a self described for-profit company that gives back to non-profit. Basically, as per The Guardian the company sells a “flagship piece of Australian native land that we are proud to own and preserve” at a starting price of $79.95. Then in return for the purchase, Pieces of Australia will plant two trees in partnership with charity ReForest Now.
On the surface, sure it seems like a cute idea. But after The Guardian did some digging, they found that the ‘actual land’ on offer from the company “is in the heart of the Condabri coal seam gas field”.
Not only that, but Pieces of Australia hasn’t made any real effort to consult with the Indigenous people of the land they are selling off to celebrities, the Barunggam nation.
The whole thing reeks of bullshit, and according to The Guardian — the organisation is the brain child of a 29 year-old business developer based out of Bondi.
Oscars celebrities won’t actually ‘own’ the land they are gifted in their goodie bags — it’s more of an ego-stroke, if anything. “Oh how cute? I’ve got a piece of land from that backwards country with those koala bear things.”
It’s like when you go to the Berlin Wall and they sell you pieces of the wall that are so clearly just random pieces of cement with a bit of paint on them.
But celebrities seem to eat this shit up and last year, The Oscars goodies bag contained plots of Scottish land, which made each recipient a lord or a lady.
“Based on the massive press exposure [from last year], we were approached by Pieces of Australia about their unique ‘Aussie Mate’ program,” founder behind the Oscar’s goodie bag Lash Fary said.
“We thought it was a unique and fun gift and also loved the company’s intention of making a positive environmental impact, so it was an easy yes for us.”
The gift bag, aptly called ‘Everybody Wins’ gets given to all the nominees and is a perfect little marketing ploy for businesses. Some other items in the goodie bag this year, include: a free facial rejuvenation procedure by a New York City plastic surgeon, a shaman reading and an Italian getaway.
Forbes estimates that this year’s Oscars gift bag is worth $126,000 USD (190,000 AUD), and not only do they get a gift bag — but they are also invited to a gifting suite at The Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel, where they could be gifted jewellery, perfume, shoes etc all for bloody free.
Fuck it’s so crazy how the 1% live. It’s enough to make you sick to your stomach.
Worse yet, these gifts come out of the seller’s pockets — who pay an outside company called Distinctive Assets to put their products into the Oscars goodie bag. For example, Pieces of Australia paid $4000 to secure a spot in this year’s bag.
To think there are so many homeless on the streets of LA, and yet celebrities are casually gifted products worth nearly $200k that they’ll likely never use.
It’s fucked up to say the least.