Oscars 2022 Gift Bags Criticized as 'Hypocritical' in Light of Ukraine Advocacy

Before the 2022 Oscars began, the nominees received their gift bags valued at $140,000. But people on social media were not happy with the celebrities getting gift bags because the money spent on the items could be used on the Ukraine crisis. Many fans said the money could be used for charity as Ukraine continues to be at war with Russia. 

Piers Morgan tweeted, "Rather than make virtuous tearful speeches tonight about how much they care about Ukraine, it might be nice if all the Oscars presenters [and] nominees auction their revoltingly ostentatious $140,000 gift bags to raise funds for Ukrainian refugees."

Another fan also called out the Oscars for the gift bags. "Moment of silence at [Oscars] for Ukraine followed by solicitation for donations," the person wrote. "Maybe they should start by forgoing their $140k gift bags and donating that money instead? Set a good example?"

And another fan added, "Finding it a little difficult..actually a lot ..to watch The Oscars tonight...With their 6 figure gift bags and tremendous wealth and luxurious lifestyles..whilst seeing pictures of homeless suffering people in Ukraine." Some of the items included in the "Everyone Wins" Nominee Gift Bag are flavor wrapped popcorn kernels from Opopop, biscuits and wafers from Bahlsen Biscuits, Nano-Amplified CBD Skincare from HempHera Kosmetikos, supplements from spermidineLIFE by Longevity Labs, salad-infused skincare from BYROE, and an all-inclusive stay at Turin Castle in Scotland. The gift bags were produced by Distinctive Assets and were received by nominees such as Will Smith, Andrew Garfield, Denzel Washington, Jessica Chastain, Olivia Colman, Kristen Stewart, Ariana DeBose, Kirsten Dunst and Steven Spielberg.

"We are humbled to be commemorating two decades of curating a specialty gift bag that has become a global pop culture phenomenon, Distinctive Assets founder Larry Fary said. "We are not only celebrating these incredible nominees but also a return to normalcy in a post-pandemic world." 

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One notable celebrity wanted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to speak at the Oscars. On CNN, Oscar winner Sean Penn said during an appearance, "I would encourage everyone involved to know, though it may be their moment, and I understand that, to celebrate their films, it is so much more their moment to shine and to protest and to boycott that Academy Awards." Penn also said it would be "the most obscene moment in all of Hollywood history," if Zelensky doesn't speak.