Opinion: Oscar Goody Bags Bad Idea

Oscar academy awards statue

I will never win an acting Oscar. I know that now. When all you say in a movie is "Next in line, please!" or "PUSH!" you can't make an impact with the members of the Academy. But it's true -- there really are no small parts, only small actors. I learned that from working with the great Clint Eastwood. I had a tiny part in one of his movies and made a tiny suggestion, and he actually valued my opinion. I ended up with an extra scene and an extra day on the set to watch him work. He was so respectful and kind to the actors, the crew, everybody. That experience, in and of itself, was a gift.

So here's what I don't get. You're up for an Academy Award, or "just" a presenter, or performer. You're big time. Sought-after, adored, celebrated, rewarded. You've got it all. So why do you need more gifts? What's with the free spa treatments, free TV's, and $1,500 steak dinners? Why do you get over a hundred thousand dollars worth of stuff and not have to pay for any of it? And you can way pay for it. Even free satellite cable for a year. You can't pay for your own cable? That's just greedy.

The Oscars have gone way beyond plugging designer gowns and borrowed jewels. We're talking $5,000 diamond encrusted bras for the lady nominees (Does that mean diamond briefs for the fellas)? Free mink eyelashes, injectible collagen, and some slop called brown sugar body polish to exfoliate the "A" list. And mattresses. Free mattresses. What, are you going to tie that on top of your limo? At least at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, their gobs of goodies were conveniently loaded into a suitcase with wheels. Oh, and there are exotic trips galore. My favorite? A three-night stay for two at a fancy beachfront hotel with something called a "personal surf-butler." A vacation and your own slave. That's hot.

Forget the red states and the blue states. Here's how the country's really divided: one country where the rich and famous are given carte blanche and don't even pay to have their own wrinkles filled in; and the other country where the rest of us schmos pay our taxes, get parking tickets, and hope for a sale. Around 125 Oscar goody bags, last year's estimated value: $110,000 a piece. Do the math. That's more than $13 million of stuff that could really help people, organizations, and communities who actually need it.