I Went to the Pre-Oscar Celebrity Gifting Suites and All I Got Was This Sense of Disgust:
Beverly Hills is not a real place in the real world. Beverly Hills is what happens when you take the "Beverly Hills" pavilion at Epcot Center, expand it a thousandfold, and populate it with actors playing real people.
I had never been to L.A. before, avoid watching the Oscars at all costs, and am incapable of identifying celebrities on sight, and yet I went to Beverly Hills this week to write about "gifting suites," those peculiar little pre-Oscar-week institutions that exist in order to shower America's neediest celebrities with free luxury items. Companies that want to promote themselves pay PR firms for the privilege of setting up a table at the gifting suite; the PR firm wrangles celebrities to show up and collect a ton of free crap; the media covers it as an event, making the whole thing worthwhile.
I was there in search of free stuff. Foolish. In Beverly Hills, nothing is free unless you absolutely, positively don't need it.