Freebies for the Famous: Oscar Gift Basket Includes $55,000 Trip to Israel

Who needs the little gold statue? Nominees in the main categories will receive an extravagant gift basket valued at $200,000.

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In this March 2, 2014 file photo, an Oscar statue is displayed at the Oscars at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.
In this March 2, 2014 file photo, an Oscar statue is displayed at the Oscars at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.Credit: AP

It's Oscar season in Hollywood, but with increasingly opulent gift baskets for the starts, the little gold statues are hardly the top prize nominees can take home. This year, a-listers will also enjoy a 10-day, first-class trip to Israel, valued at $55,000, according to a report in The Daily Beast on Friday.

According to the report, the extravagant trip to the Holy Land is part of a gift bag with a total value of $200,000 that will be handed out to all nominees in the main acting and directing categories.

The Daily Beast's report reflects concerns of bias at the Oscars toward the already rich and famous, even as the award ceremony has been under pressure to diversify ethnically, a campaign championed on social media under the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.

Besides the trip to Israel, Hollywood's top names will receive a $45,000, 15-day walking tour of Japan and a year's worth of unlimited Audi car rentals from Silvercar valued at $45,000, cause who really wants to walk?

Prevailing trends in Hollywood suggest that many of the gift package recipients would be happy to visit Israel. Best Actor nominee Leonardo DiCaprio has visited before and famously dated Israeli model Bar Rafaeli for a few years.

Others, such as Best Supporting Actor nominee Mark Ruffalo, may be less likely to jump on the free flight. During Israel's last operation in Gaza, Ruffalo tweeted in support of the people of Gaza, and even rejected the notion that Hamas militants use civilians as shields in combat, causing somewhat of a Twitter storm.

Regardless of their respective opinions, the famously youthful and decadent Tel Aviv will in most likelihood accept the stars with open arms.

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