As a denizen of the neighborhood and employee of the business, I'm often annoyed by the pissy comments that come Hollywood's way. Lots of Americans love to trash us, but they still watch our movies and TV and make entertainment one of the country's (and the world's) biggest industries. I think it's a very cool place to live and work.
But then sometimes I understand why everyones hates Hollywood. We are totally fucked up. Today's evidence: a press release that caught my eye about the valuable goodies that needy celebrity presenters at the American Music Awards will receive. Here are the choice paragraphs:
Christmas will come early this year for Usher, Gwen Stefani, tennis superstar Serena Williams, "Desperate Housewives"' Eva Longoria & Nicollette Sheridan, Toby Keith, the "Newlyweds"' Nick Lachey & Jessica Simpson, Lenny Kravitz, Sheryl Crow, cycling champ Lance Armstrong, Janet Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi, Mandy Moore, Snoop Dogg, Anna Nicole Smith, Nelly, "American Idol"'s Clay Aiken, William Shatner, Rod Stewart and about 40 other entertainers.
Why? Because they are all participants in the 32nd annual "American Music Awards," which Jimmy Kimmel will host, November 14 on ABC-TV. They will all receive unique gift baskets containing a plethora of special gifts for their participation.
Special "American Music Awards" duffel bags will be given to the stars and contain almost 200 items including a share in a race horse, Ice Link diamond watches, a lifetime of Sirius Satellite Radio, Scott Kay platinum jewelry, MP3 players, a year of free massages, Maytag Skybox personalized refrigerators, All Access passes to Golds Gym and Spectrum Sportsclub, portable DVD players, cooking tours of Italy, certificates for lasik eye surgery, limited edition bottles of Marilyn Merlot wine, fog free shower mirrors, assorted jewelry including sterling silver peace sign necklaces, rhinestone tank tops and crystal belt buckles with Swarovski crystals, Omaha steaks, "hands free" electronic trash cans, Krups espresso machines, Vera Wang perfume, assorted women's apparel including personalized crystal sandals and sequined tops, electronic toothbrushes, Godiva and Ghiradelli chocolates, assorted Urban apparel, Cross pens and retro radio phones. The gift packages were assembled by Steve Stein of Hollywood Connection and are each valued at approximately $32,000 in honor of the show's 32nd anniversary.
I strongly urge the disenfranchised of Los Angeles to storm the American Music Awards and loot these duffel bags.