This year’s $205,000 consolation prize. Photo: Courtesy of Distinctive Assets Last weekend’s Oscars left us all with a few gifts — Daniel Kaluuya’s homage to sex , Youn Yuh-jung being Youn Yuh-jung , and that clip of Glenn Close dancing to “Da Butt ” — but some of stars went home with literal presents via an “Everybody Wins” gift bag from Distinctive Assets, a company that is unaffiliated with the Academy and in its 19th year of giving. While stars often receive gifts at other awards shows, the Oscars bags tend to attract special attention for their sheer opulence. Forbes estimated that this year’s freebies — which include celebrity-trainer workout sessions, a liposuction procedure, a three-night retreat on a Swedish island, and a card for a commemorative gold NFT of Chadwick Boseman’s head — total $205,000 a bag. For a chance at the exposure that a celebrity’s name can bring (and the annual fascination over what expensive things the rich people got this year), brands pay thousands to donate their products and services if they are chosen to be featured in the bag. While the Academy is no longer involved with the annual gift-giving, that wasn’t always the case. In fact, up until 2006, the organization played a key role in the gift-giving on Hollywood’s biggest night. Here’s the full history of the lavish gifting tradition, including a tax dispute with the IRS, a Bette Midler award loss, a lawsuit over trademark infringement, and a man known as the “Sultan of Swag.” In 1989, Taylor Swift was born, George H.W. Bush was sworn in as the 41st president, and, according to Reuters , the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences was quietly beginning to give out thank-you gifts to the presenters and performers at its annual Oscars awards show. The practice continued for years, becoming increasingly competitive as brands (who were not charged a fee to donate) realized the power of celebrity exposure. One company told the LA Business Journal … [Read more...] about The 2021 Oscars Gift Bag Was Worth $205,000. How Did We Get Here?