The Academy Awards seem like a pretty fun night out: you get dressed up, watch Ben Affleck eat chicken, and get to see all the stuff they cut out of the TV broadcast, like the shark pit that slowly opens under honorees if they go too far over their “Thank You” time. It’s just too bad that the event is invite-only, meaning that the hallowed halls of the Dolby Theatre are closed to anyone without industry connections.
Or a big, honkin’ load of cash: Deadline is reporting that the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences is suing a ticket broker for reselling Oscars tickets for as much as $45,000 a pop. The lawsuit (which you can read here) accuses California company Key Access, its founder, and both the unknown sellers and recipients (ominously named Does 1-50 in the suit) of conspiring to resell access to the event, for prices ranging from $27,500 (for balcony seats) to $45,000 (for orchestra level). The Academy is also mad that the site used some of their trademarked words and iconography in its Craiglist ads, although that seems somewhat less distressing than the idea of people paying a regular person’s annual salary so that they can sit nine tables away from a bored Will Smith.
The Academy is asking for a jury trial against Key Access, with an eye on punitive damages and an injunction against its reselling practices. Meanwhile, paranoia will presumably sweep across next year’s Oscars ceremony, as the Hollywood elite eye the people around them, and ask the critical question: Key grip? Or trespasser?