Oscar nominees typically receive a goodie bag filled with plane tickets, luxury cosmetics, and other high-end gifts. But the #MeToo movement has ushered in a few new items this year — pepper spray and other personal safety products — for the annual awards ceremony on Sunday.
Why is this happening?
“This event is a unique opportunity for us to lend a helping hand in the #MeToo movement with solutions that take aim at the harassment culture that’s been pervasive most notably in the entertainment industry and in broader society,” David Nance, the CEO of security systems company Sabre, told Yahoo News.
“We hope to help others by inspiring self-empowerment.”
Sabre's list of Oscar goodies includes key-ring pepper spray, gel pepper spray, two key-ring body alarms and a kit that tells if a drink has been drugged, according to the report.
Oscar organizers have previously taken legal action against the goodie bags because they come from outside companies that are not endorsed by the organization. The gifts often have a combined valued of as much as $100,000, the report states.
Another pepper spray, Pepperface, is getting in on the act this year as well.
“In the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, PepperFace is arriving in Hollywood at the perfect time.” company CEO Brian Pennington told Yahoo News. “We want to be an awareness symbol to help end violence against women and also provide resources for those unfortunate enough to have become a victim of violence."
This year’s goodie bags also feature a 24-karat gold facial, a diamond necklace and a 12-day trip to Tanzania.
Well before the #MeToo movement, pepper sprays were included in the 2014 Oscar gift bags. That gift was a pink and camouflage-print mace pepper gun.
The #MeToo movement began shortly after reports began surfacing in October of alleged decades of sexual misconduct by Weinstein, a movie mogul, that involved multiple women. The accusations inspired other women to come forward with sexual abuse allegations against high-profile men in entertainment, sports, politics and media. A running list that includes some of the people accused of sexual assault or misconduct is maintained by NBC News.
How else is #MeToo influencing the Oscars?
Also ahead of the Oscars, billboards are popping up around Hollywood to denounce the industry’s alleged history sexual misconduct, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
The billboards by conservative artist Sabo are pink with large black letters that read:
“We all knew and still no arrests.'
“Name names on stage or shut the hell up!”
“And the Oscar for the biggest pedophile goes to …”.
Sabo previously created posters criticizing Meryl Streep for her alleged knowledge of Weinstein’s behavior.
The 90th Academy Awards will be held at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday on ABC.