The Academy is suing Distinctive Assets, a third-party manufacturer of unofficial gift bags, because of contents including plastic surgery certificates.
The Academy Awards is suing the manufacturers of a proposed “Oscars gift bag” after expressing concern at its contents, which reportedly include plastic surgery gift certificates and sex toys.
For various reasons to do with tax, the Academy Awards stopped making and distributing gift bags to nominees as a routine practice a decade ago, and has discouraged the practice of doing so from third-party manufacturers as promotions.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy
This year, however, it is filing an injunction against the Californian company Distinctive Assets over the contents of its gift bag, which is being promoted using phrases like “Everyone Wins at the Oscars! Nominee Gift Bags” and apparently contains a $5,500 certificate for plastic surgery, a $1,900 ‘vampire breast lift’, a $250 sex toy and a $250 marijuana vaporizer.
This kind of thing has happened before with the same company, reports suggest, and previous efforts to get the gift bags to bear disclaimers saying there’s no affiliation with the Oscars themselves have fallen on deaf ears and left the Academy with choice but to sue.
A lawsuit filed in a Californian court last week says: “Distinctive Assets’ continued use of the Academy’s trademarks not only infringes the Academy’s trademarks, but it is also likely to dilute the distinctiveness of the Academy’s famous trademarks and tarnish their goodwill.”
“Last year, the Academy attempted to address Distinctive Assets’ false and infringing representation without litigation. We had no choice but to file a lawsuit,” said a spokesperson for the Academy.
The Academy is already in the middle of a serious image problem with the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, with a total absence of non-white nominees for the acting categories for a second consecutive year.