The Oscars are one of the largest events of the year for the film industry and by the end of the 2018 Oscars, held on Sunday, March 4, over $44 million had been spent on advertising, the show itself and the catering for the night’s Governor’s Ball. Much of this spending goes towards the show itself, which some can see as a seemingly reasonable expense since the Oscars can be enjoyed by viewers throughout the world. However, the Governor’s Ball is not watched by the 26.5 million viewers of the Oscar 2018 ceremony.

Despite this, The Guardian reports that $1.8 million was spent on this Ball and well over $45,000 was spent on the chocolate and steak served alone. This number does not include the gold coating on Wolfgang Puck’s annual chocolate Oscar statuette, the caviar and fish or the gold flakes that, after the event, a reporter from E!News stated, and Variety confirmed, would be used to decorate said caviar.

The New Yorker, and many other news sources, reported that Cape Town nearly reached “Day Zero,” the day Capetonians will officially be without water, on April 16. This day was pushed back to May 11 and now sits on June 4. In less than three months, a town that currently rations 25 liter (about 6 1/2 gallons) bottles off to each family daily (less than is needed by even a small family to live a healthy life), will not have water – a necessity for life. Yet the Oscar’s Governor’s Ball serves caviar with gold flecks on it to celebrities who have already been paid for their work. Furthermore, 25 of these attendees have also received goody-bags that Forbes reports are worth over $100,000, probably more as now companies do not disclose what they spend on certain donated “goodies” which they exchange for media attention.

On Amazon, 1 gram of edible gold flakes costs $89. This fills less than half a cup. With this same amount of money, over 103 liters of water could be donated to Cape Town, and we all know that, to make enough gold flakes caviar for the average 1,500 attendees of the Governor’s Ball, more than 1 gram of gold is used.

As a member of the film industry, as a lover of films and stories, as a person who stands with the film industries focus on intersectionality and helping minorities to earn equal pay and roles (especially this year with so much emphasis being put on this topic), as a human being – I have one question for those who attended this ball. Are you willing to give up the golden flakes on your food to help the people of South Africa?

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