Hollywood's Worst Holiday Gifts

ISTOCK; Courtesy Photo
Industry writers and crew members say travel mugs and neon pink bike are among the worst gifts received in Hollywood.

From a leaky coffee cup to useless show-themed gadgets: Sometimes it’s not the thought that counts. It’s the effort (and yeah, the price tag).

With both funding and ego sitting firmly in the “unlimited” category, Hollywood holiday gift giving can be tricky business. The Hollywood Reporter rounded up a collection of few of the worst holiday industry gifts of the past few years, from the utterly useless to mildly insulting.

The show-themed gift was particularly derided: “I once received a neon pink beach cruiser with the name of our show in three places on it,” says one writer. Does she ride it around town, an homage to the now-cancelled sitcom? “I donated it to a women’s shelter, still in the box.”

So, let’s lower the standards. What about something practical, or even functional? That’s actually kind of a big ask, according to a veteran drama writer, who said that one year for Christmas her show gave its staff “a to-go coffee cup that leaked so badly on the first time I ever used it, I just fuckin' threw it out."

And then there are the gifts that don’t quite seem to match the amount of effort expended by the talent. In this case, we heard from a comic who received, “a Bluetooth speaker from a now-closed internet firm after I butt-chugged milk on a Christmas-themed livestream.” Maybe she should’ve butt chugged eggnog? (Probably not.)

Giving the proper gift is tough; at the very least, the gift itself should be personal, and its recipient should feel seen and appreciated. But holiday gift giving is both art and science and, for better or for worse, sometimes Hollywood gets it right — and sometimes not. 

This story first appeared in the Nov. 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe