As Award Shows Go Virtual, So Do The Gifting Suites


All of popular culture has gone topsy-turvy in 2020 due to the relentless coronavirus pandemic. Some things are impervious to change, however, and among them is the gifting suite.

This sacred chamber, in which a nominated celebrity enters empty-handed and emerges with a swag bag of high-price gifts from brands eager for an endorsing photograph (or maybe just the promise of good word-of-mouth), requires more than an infectious disease to slow it down. As detailed in The Hollywood Reporter, the time-honored exchange of clout for commercial goods will enter the virtual space as quarantine continues, and has already had a successful trial run.

At the 47th Annual Daytime Emmys, which took place in late June, P&L Media created a gifting lounge in cyberspace. Since brands couldn’t interact with the stars directly, they hired known on-air hosts, including Jennifer Lahmers from Extra, Keltie Night and Nischelle Turner from Entertainment Tonight, Victoria Recaño from Inside Edition, and Jason Kennedy, Justin Sylvester and Nina Parker from E! News. They provided commentary on the available products that lucky celebs were able to view privately. The guests were then able to make a wish list and build themselves a care package.

It is unclear who actually took advantage of the offer, but THR reports that invitations were given to many of the big names in daytime television. Gifts included trips to Barbados, artisanal honey, a wireless hair dryer, and an “ultimate vlogging set.”

This time-honored tradition of awards-show gifting suites came to a more general awareness thanks to the The Sopranos when Michael Imperioli’s Christopher Moltisanti, in one of his most not-nice moments, mugged Lauren Bacall, playing herself, on the way to her limo.

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