The Academy Awards season has been completely marred by controversy already, due in part to the lack of diversity amongst nominees – and now they are facing even more drama.
Pro-Palestinian activists are calling out the inclusion of a voucher for a trip to Israel that is inside the Oscar swag bag given to a select group of nominees ahead of the February 28, 1016 awards presentation.
The package is all inclusive and includes two first-class tickets to Israel and a 10-day stay in a five-star hotel. The total cost is $55,000.
“These are the most senior people in the film industry in Hollywood and leading opinion-formers who we are interested in hosting here in Israel so that they will experience the country first hand and not through the media,” Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said in a statement.
There are many people who will be receiving that bad that have been to Israel before, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Sylvester Stallone, who both support the country.
“If they do indeed accept the invitation, their visit will have enormous resonance among millions of fans and followers, including social media.”
It’s a part of a gift back over luxury items for the nominees that was put together by Distinctive Assets. The total value of the bag comes in at around $200,000.
According to the New York Daily News, Supporters of the BDS Movement — which stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel — are taking to social media to pressure the celebrities to decline the offer.
“I like how the Oscars gift bag includes a trip to Israel,” said on anti-Israel protestor. “If you’re famous enough, you too can visit a country thats comitting genocide.”
Omar Barghouti, who is the head of the BDS movement, called out the Hollywood to stop what they are doing:
“There are no Hunger Games in Gaza but there is real hunger, and it is induced by years of Israeli occupation and siege,” Barghouti wrote, alluding to best actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence’s most famous franchise.
“We hope Oscar nominees will take the moral path of rejecting this free propaganda gift from Capitol while its brutal troops and settlers burn and colonize our District 12.”
Not all of the stars are eligible for the trip, but many A-listers are – it will be interesting to see who is invited.
Orginally posted in i4u News