Human Rights Watch has issues with Angelina Jolie & her movie too

I’ve been having imaginary arguments with myself for the past 24 hours about this Angelina Jolie stuff. Like, part of me is so angry that Angelina Jolie – who is usually so image-conscious – has already screwed up so badly in how she talks about her new film, First They Killed My Father. The story about casting the child actors for the film has come across as exploitative, and even worse, it likely WAS exploitative. And now this. The Executive Director of Human Rights Watch has given an interview about how Angelina should not have worked with the Cambodian government at all, and especially not the Cambodian army.

Angelina Jolie has been widely criticized for the news that she cast her new film — First They Killed My Father, an adaptation of Loung Ung’s 2000 memoir about the Cambodian genocide — by playing a game where she gave and then took away money from impoverished Cambodian children. But to those who study the region, there is an even more concerning revelation from the piece: that Jolie reportedly worked with the repressive Cambodian government and military in order to make the film.

According to the Vanity Fair piece: “Cambodia went all in — closing off Battambang for days, giving the filmmakers permits to land in remote zones, providing them with 500 officials from their actual army to play the Khmer Rouge army.”

Brad Adams, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division, says that if the detail about 500 soldiers is correct, that raises serious concerns. “To ask for permission to make a film and thereby invest in the local economy is fine, and you’re going to have to have some meetings with some government officials. But you can take a stance to make sure you don’t empower, legitimize or pay the wrong people. And working with the Cambodian army is a no-go zone, it’s a red flag, and it’s a terrible mistake,” he said. “This is an army that is basically an occupying force of a dictatorship, it’s used to put down environmental activists — the kind of thing that she stands for is in direct contrast to what this government is.”

Adams points out that there would have been ways for Jolie to film in Cambodia while still avoiding involvement with the Cambodian army, “which continues to be an extremely abusive rights-violating force.” For instance, she could have hired extras to play the part of Khmer Rouge soldiers.

“There’s moral hazard in having any relationship or dealings with the Cambodian government,” Adams continues. “It’s not clear whether she understands that and it’s not clear whether she cares about it.” He points to the fact that the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, is a dictator who has a record of killing, exiling, jailing, and threatening political opponents, and that Hun Sen, as well as other country leaders including the defense minister and head of the military, are former members of the Khmer Rouge. “This film is about the horrors of the Khmer Rouge, yet she is dealing with former Khmer Rouge, and apparently in a noncritical way,” he said.

[From The Cut]

When Angelina was in Cambodia to promote the film a few months ago, she had a big premiere which was attended by the King of Cambodia Norodom Sihamoni. Ahead of filming the movie (in 2015), Angelina met with Prime Minister Hun Sen and presumably got permission to film extensively in Cambodia. She’s also a Cambodian citizen – she was given honorary citizenship to Cambodia years ago. She maintains a home there, a home which sits close to a 120,000 acre wildlife preserve which she created and funds. She also funds the Maddox Chivan Children’s Center (MCCC) for HIV Infected and Affected Children in Cambodia.

What’s my point? Angelina made the choice many years ago that she would rather try to do the best work she can in politically tricky areas, and she believes that not everything is black and white. This isn’t a situation where Angelina is, like, performing for dictators to get a fat paycheck. She’s not getting rich off of First They Killed My Father. She’s also not dropping in for a month and never coming back – she has roots in Cambodia and she’s as familiar with the history of the Khmer Rouge as Human Rights Watch. I find this patronizing: “It’s not clear whether she understands that and it’s not clear whether she cares about it.” She knows. She’s just making the choice to focus on making her movie and making it realistic. And if she had, say, moved production to Vietnam or Canada, everybody would have had a field day with that and how inauthentic she was being and how the film should have more of authentic Cambodia in it. These are the arguments I keep having with myself: should Angelina “explain” her choices – from that terrible casting story to this Cambodian-military story – or should she just accept that people are going to climb up her ass over everything, and that she’s given them some perfect reasons to do so this time?

Photos courtesy of Getty.

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416 Responses to “Human Rights Watch has issues with Angelina Jolie & her movie too”

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  1. Nicole says:

    I think of all people the HRW knows more about the violations by the Cambodian army that AJ. Sorry. I’m not sure if she cares about these intricacies or not but for all her human rights work she could’ve avoided working with the army. They are right. I’m not giving her a pass and I wish people would stop giving her passes for these huge messes. They don’t jive for me

    • Miles says:

      My comment isn’t coming through for some reason, but I agree. I think Angelina has done A LOT of good, and this doesn’t negate what she has done. But it’s okay to call her out on this situation and to admit that what she has done is messed up.

      • karen says:

        So far, these are our sources for the Angelina attacks and criticism over the last few days.

        1) The Vanity Fair interviewer/writer.

        I would remind people that –

        a) you have only the description of the game (rather clunky IMO) and what happened in the casting ‘game’ by the Vanity Fair writer.

        AND..

        b) with regards to the soldiers/army story, our source is again, the same Vanity Fair writer and her impressions.

        In neither of these instances do we have Angelina on the record describing the casting process nor do we have Angelina discussing “500 officials” from the actual army.

        There are no quotes from Angelina or anyone involved in the production for either of these vanity fair writer’s anecdotal stories.

        So The Cut asks Human Rights Watch to scan the Angelina story and try to find Human Rights abuses? (Because Angelina is a known despot I guess in between building schools, AiDS clinics and clearing land mines?)

        So he looks over the Vanity Fair piece and says:

        “IF the detail about the 500 soldiers is correct,”

        If. If. If. IF!

        ..described as “500 officials” in the piece (maybe they mean the same thing, maybe they do not)….and launches into his condescending critical remarks.

        So from that usage of “IF,” isn’t he saying up front it might not be correct. So why go on record and besmirch her. He’s human rights watch, Asia division, couldn’t he call Angie or the production up and verify?

        He’s relying on, not info from Angelina, nor her production or studio – but the hearsay and impressions of the Vanity Fair interviewer.

      • lucy2 says:

        I fully agree. She has done a lot of good things over the years, but this is not one of those, and it needs to be called out. When people make decisions that impact the lives of others, they need to be held responsible.

      • KB says:

        @Karen The assumption is that the info about the soldiers was background info provided by Jolie/Netflix. I’m sure if it’s not true she or Netflix will release a statement clarifying immediately. They wouldn’t let something like that go unanswered.

      • karen says:

        @kb

        Thanks for making my point so succinctly. It is an “assumption.” You know what they say about those.

        Also, some arbitrary response time that meets with your approval, won’t make your “assumption” that the information is accurate, more true.

      • bluhare says:

        karen, actually, a fast response time would indicate that Jolie and team understand the issue and do not want to be tarred with that brush. If I were being talked about as Jolie is and it was based on incorrect information I don’t think I could put out an explanation fast enough.

      • Josephina says:

        Too many of you are drawing conclusions from very, very little information. Jolie has positioned hersrlf a global children’s rights advocate , particularly in war-torn or refugee status countires for well over a decade. If you see or hear something that is outside of her character it would make sense to collect more info or data to get a clearer picture of what is going on.

        There are other reports out there already, not reported by CB, that lend further discussion/explanation to the methods that the casting director used for casting selection.

        This current aggressive climate for accusation reminds of me when she adopted Zahara and the internet wanted to believe that Jolie kept Zahara away from her birth mother.

        Another episode was when she first adopted Pax and the internet set the world ablaze thinking that she was insensitive to his needs as he was adjusting to her being his new mom and how he felt leaving the orphanage.

        A third example is when the internet lost their minds when Jolie used the term “blob” to describe baby Shiloh. At that point, the internet did not like the idea that she used the word and saw that as a character flaw as well.

        More information will come to light to help deescalate the sensationalism that has driven the precious minds of the bloggers today who are trigger happy to run with hearsay, irrational conjecture, faulty deductive thinking, etc.

        The assertions made on this blog are far reaching and based from women who seem to never get the perspective right, or rather remain twisted and confused, on how and what motivates Angelina to do what she does and/or pursue the goals and objectives that she strives to obtain, be it personal or professional.

      • KB says:

        The “blob” thing was just silly. There were people that took that comment as proof that she didn’t love Shiloh as much as her adopted kids. That was absolutely absurd and I have no doubt that those people had a pre-existing issue with her that had absolutely nothing to do with her using the word blob. I don’t know how anyone can question her love for her children.

        I feel like this casting thing is completely different though. It’s not just the particulars of the game, it’s the way she relayed the story. It requires some more explanation at the very least. Like you, I await some kind of clarification because right now this interview is not a good look.

      • noway says:

        Did you read the Vanity Fair article? I think you missed the point, because Angelina is quoted about the casting call, and about the filming in Cambodia with the Army. You say clunky, but I think she explained it. Even if there wasn’t some direct quotes from her she isn’t disputing it either. The comments above make it seem like the Vanity Fair article is anti-Angelina, and if anything it is a very complimentary article of her.

        I think the casting call and the use of the Army are a bit suspect, and just because she is Angelina Jolie doesn’t mean you shouldn’t question her thinking. However, the article makes it seem like with the army look at the amazing way she managed to get the people of Cambodia together. I think the Human Rights Watch has a different opinion of this though.

      • FLORC says:

        Bluhare
        Idk about speed of response leading to that conclusion. There could be other factors. Like Not giving the time to a possible false claim or that for attention.

        The wording they use could be careful for a few reasons. Not credible. Credible, but not bulletproof if taken to court for slander. Or just the wording they use.

        I’m not a Jolie super fan, but I do feel her foundations and work has all been carried out well and swiftly and quietly corrected when corruption is found.

    • Diana B says:

      The cambodian army is a group of abussive paramilitars; again, like yesterday, she should know better. People in Cambodia are still suffering in the hands of these groups completely sanctioned by the goverment. This movie should not have happened.

    • Snazzy says:

      Yup I’m with you. HRW knows their shit inside out and upside down. Angie has been involved in the aid world for so many years she has access to all the necessary information. She should have known better. She does not deserve a pass on this and most certainly does not get one from me. Shame on you Angie

      • karen says:

        @snazzy

        I guess you missed the part, where the guy from HRW says, “IF,” this is correct.

        That’s a big IF.

        That means he’s telling you, it might not be correct.

        I certainly would want to hear from the source, Angelina Jolie ( who’s given so much to that country for the last 15 years and literally saved and improved lives there) if it is indeed factual, before I just accept she did the wrong thing based on hearsay from one Vanity Fair writer.

        But that’s me.

      • noway says:

        @Karen it is not hearsay it is an interview that Angelina Jolie set up and did and is not disputing. If you read the part about the army paraphrasing the article it states all of Cambodia came out to help with the movie including 500 local army officials to play the Khmer Rouge and then Jolie is directly quoted, “It’s not a poetic thing to say—[this film] was made by the country,” says Jolie.

        I really think you missed the point of the article, Jolie is stating she made this film with Cambodia and it’s people in mind, all of them. She needed the approval and help of the government to get it made there, and she sold them on it in order to tell their story. I just think some Human Rights organizations disagree with this approach, no matter how well the story is told.

    • Sixer says:

      This is genuinely grim. Both for what has been done as HRW points out, and for her.

      There was a bit of a tizzy last year when the LSE got her to give a couple of talks/attend a couple of workshops in return for their aggrandised visiting professor title. I defended that on the basis it was harmless and she does have a charitable perspective to impart that could be valuable to postgrads. I’m now thinking the critics were right. Loose cannons aren’t helpful; they’re dangerous.

    • ElleBee says:

      There’s a line from one of the Underworld movies that goes “Past Glory does not excuse Present Guilt”

      I love that line and I think it is relevant here. Yes she has done a ton of good and that’s why she should know better in this instance. Disappointed.

    • halliego says:

      i agree, she gets passes where NO OTHER person would and it blows my mind. why!?

      • karen says:

        @halliego

        I remain forever flummoxed by the bizarre erroneous notion that Angelina Jolie gets passes, and goes uncriticized. It’s actually straight from upside down world.

        From where I sit all she gets is criticism. Check out the threads from the last two days both here and elsewhere. This is from one Vanity Fair piece. Not that she deserves a free pass had she actually tricked kids or used a despot’s army in her movie- but i certainly wouldn’t hang her on the basis of one Vanity Fair piece’s unconfirmed anecdotes.

        I’ve been an admirer of hers for some time, not because she’s perfect but because she seems like a strong, honest unique individual. She’s intelligent, always the diplomat and she thinks things through. So right now, I’ll wait before i start to find the kindling for her stake burning.

        That might be what you’re really asking– why do her admirers or people who don’t irrationally hate her, always resist joining our constant pile on?!

        Because there’s always one for Angelina. She can’t even divorce a supposed addict who traumatized her kids without being attacked. We all were here when many women everywhere thought Brad had cheated and were sooo gleeful about what they thought was her comeuppance. They couldn’t contain their joy that her family was imploding over an infidelity. Yaaay.

        How disappointed they were when it was just alleged child abuse by a purportedly constantly drunk dad.

        Which by the way, the head hater in chief, has blamed her for that too. If only she didn’t do so much and travel and have all those kids. Poor guy.

        This is what she deals with, and has for 13 years.

        So you whining about the ‘passes’ she gets is so Twilight Zone. Lol

      • bluhare says:

        Magazines have fact checkers, and I suspect Vanity Fair does. That being said, if incorrect information is being put out there, then it should be corrected by her staff or the magazine. So far, nothing.

        Your post would have been much improved without your last sentence.

      • LAK says:

        What Bluhare said.

        I’m willing to concede that VF can get it wrong as they frequently do with British royal stories, BUT someone as jealous of her image as Angelina will not allow VF to print any story on her without copy approval. That’s how she works.

        Further, unlike the royals who do not answer back or leverage coverage, VF would not throw a star of her magnitude under the bus unless they were absolutely sure it wouldn’t bite them in any way, especially when they were and have been getting exclusives from her.

      • Brittney B. says:

        Bluhare… speaking of fact-checking, this VF article had at least one glaring error that should’ve been caught: it described Winona Ryder’s character, instead of the one Angelina actually played, when mentioning her Oscar-winning role. Lisa didn’t have borderline personality disorder, she was a sociopath.

        That part made me question everything, including the paraphrased descriptions of the filmmaking process, but she definitely still needs to explain herself.

      • senna says:

        @bluhare – I thought getting copy approval was against journalistic ethics, even for a celeb piece in VF? This is proving harder to google than anticipated, so I’d appreciate insight from those in the know.

      • bluhare says:

        I didn’t say anything about copy approval; I don’t know if it was sought or OK’d. I was talking about fact checking. Most publications don’t want to get sued so they check content before going to print.

      • noway says:

        @Karen I agree Angelina does not get passes for things. She has her legion of fans who often idolize her, but a lot of people bash her too. She was a home wrecker for way too long and she never really was one. Why isn’t it the guys fault ever.

        The Vanity Fair article really isn’t a news or journalistic piece. It is an interview set up to publicize her movie. Same as the article Brad did for GQ. It’s a light entertainment piece that just happened to tap into an important issue about her movie. As far as the articles having a glaring error about Girl Interrupted that happens. Worked for Washington Post in its hey day and they put the wrong date for the end of WWII in a lifestyle article once. I don’t think that makes the majority false. What makes me think it is true is no one has denied or corrected anything yet on this interview. Netflix and the producers would say something if it wasn’t. Now the article just came out, but this is getting a lot of buzz, so I would think they would respond soon if not by now.

      • magnoliarose says:

        @senna Yes stars get final approval. Many times they won’t do an interview if they are denied and the same for photos. You have to have some pull though. Either the star is big enough to make demands, or they have a hardball agent who threatens to cut the publication off from their superstars if they don’t. It is not thinkable she didn’t approve it herself.

      • Lahdidahbaby says:

        Bluhare is right, Karen, in her main point and in her aside about your closing line, which is unnecessarily snide and trivializes the whole subject.

        I have to agree that Jolie should have known better. But this isn’t the first instance in which she has pushed her will over an existing reality that she would prefer to ignore because it isn’t convenient to the optics she is striving for. I have admired much that she has done, but sometimes she seems insensitive to the effects of her actions, as when she adopted Pax, whose given name his entire life had been something other than Pax. He was a very young child, granted, but he was old enough to know his own name and to be unsettled or even deeply traumatized by having his identity changed at the same time as he was thrown into a whole new life with an unfamiliar family –and a family that was constantly traveling the world, at that. So her boys all have an x in their names: Maddox, Pax, Knox. Cute. But to me at the time, it seemed insensitive. Still does.

    • CTgirl says:

      No pass on the shenanigans that occurred during filming of this movie. Mistakes were made, insensitive/cruel “games” were played and employing the Cambodian military was kind of crazy. It’s OK to call this stuff out and perhaps it won’t be repeated by others or Ms. Jolie in making her next movie.

    • CeeCee says:

      Nicole, I agree 100%. She made some very questionable choices here. She’s not a law unto herself, and so having made the choices, the best thing to do would be to explain her thinking.

  2. Megan says:

    Yikes, I didn’t didn’t realize the army was involved with her film. Anyone who has studied human rights knows how abusive the Cambodian army is. To legitimize them in anyway is wrong.

    • Yellowrocket says:

      She’s also supposed to have purchased land from a Khmer Rouge commander for the MCCC.

      This is a mess for Angie, I don’t know how she didn’t realise those children comments in VF would be seen as exploitive, she’s normally so media clever. Im guessing she felt a little too comfortable as the interview was in her home and she didn’t have her gaurd completely up.

      She is still one of the most philanthropic celebrities out there and she is a force of genuine good in the world. It is infuriating though that with all the educational experiences she has access to as a UN ambassador that she made the decisions she did.

      • minxx says:

        “She’s also supposed to have purchased land from a Khmer Rouge commander for the MCCC.” – I read about it too. It gives me pause even more than the use of military in the film.

      • karen says:

        Odd that you’d mention a years old land purchase @yellowrocket to further and mysteriously demonize her.

        If you had mentioned that Angelina purchased land from whothef-ever, in several villages to clear land mines and stop children and adults from being blown to bits several years ago (which she did) – would it sound so nefarious?

      • Megan says:

        @Karen Halo, Handicap International and Lotus have been working for decades to clear landmines in Cambodia. Jolie does not get the credit for that.

      • Linda says:

        ” I don’t know how she didn’t realise those children comments in VF would be seen as exploitive, she’s normally so media clever.”

        Many people are bringing this point up. It’s not a PR matter. It’s the fact she played a hellish money game with poor children from the slums, circuses, etc to cast a freaking movie.

      • karen says:

        Hi @Megan

        Did I say Angelina was the only person or entity to ever clear landmines? Pretty sure I did not. Also Angelina has worked with Halo. She narrates their video on Youtube.

        The *point* of my post was: how are you supposed to clear landmines and prevent fatalities and injuries of people in villages if you dont own the land to clear the mines?

        Hypothetically, if a wealthy despot owned land that people were getting blown to bits on frequently and couldn’t be bothered to clean it up, i would think it quite heroic to purchase it, and clear it to stop the carnage.

        But hey, again, that’s just me. If you feel comfortable thinking she just loves doing real estate deals with bad guys in Cambodia to further enrich herself with lucrative overgrown dangerous MINE-laden properties…IN CAMBODIA.

        Knock yourself out

      • Megan says:

        @Karen I’ve made no comments about her land acquisitions in Cambodia or elsewhere. Cambodian national law allows for clearance on all private land. Jolie did not need to buy it for the mines to be cleared.
        https://opendevelopmentcambodia.net/topics/landmines-uxo-and-demining/

      • karen says:

        @Megan

        But you are making inferences about her buying the land from an 80yo former soldier. Your inference is that it was avarice, and possibly nefarious. While my insistence is that she bought the land, cleared the mines, and established it as part of the Maddox Chivan charity compound which educates kids, provides healthcare, and conserved the wild life and ecosystem.

        Now, i think those are important reasons that speak to a selflessness and desire to better a community. While you think she ‘didnt need to buy it, ‘ and could have let it languish or hoped someone other than herself may have decided to convince the owner to allow for de-mining, and if kids got blown up in the interim, so be it.

        There is a greater good option here. But it’s very clear, some don’t want Angelina being great or good. They’re tired of hearing about it. Even if it’s once a year per a charitable event or movie promo, that’s too much.

      • Megan says:

        @Karen – Once again, I made no implicit or explicit comments about her land acquisitions. I really must insist that you stop putting words in my mouth.

        As for mine clearance, the government and the mine removal NGOs determine what land is de-mined and when. I have worked with several mine removal charities and am quite familiar with the process in Cambodia. The landowner does not have the right to refuse de-mining nor does the landowner get to dictate when it will take place.

        I don’t begrudge Jolie the good she has done, but I also don’t assign her credit for work she hasn’t done, as you seem you to be doing,

      • karen says:

        Hi @megan

        So now the very same people who want to infer she’s in cahoots with a nefarious fascist government in buying up land de-mining and building clinics on it thru her foundation, is ALSO insisting that the evil government would have cleared the former soldiers land of mines without her?!

        Kind of a contradiction.

        If what you say is true, why did she have to clear all the mines on the land that she did buy? Why weren’t the mines cleared already before she bought land? The khmer soldier was in his 80s and he had land mines on the land.

        Cambodia has the highest injury and death rate from mines on the planet. The very least some of you could do is admit that her involvement more hastily cleared the lands and prevented the death and injury of people along with bettering the community with schools and clinics.

      • Megan says:

        @Karen – please stop trolling me about things I did not say. It makes you look unhinged.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Megan, I appreciate your comments. Very insightful.

    • jwoolman says:

      They were described as officials, not soldiers. That sounds odd. I wonder if a condition for doing the movie unimpeded in Cambodia was to hire extras with government connections (hence the term officials, which can mean anything) to play the soldiers as a perk for the individuals concerned.

      Maybe we really do need to wait and see in this one. Raise the issues but avoid jumping on Jolie too fast. I’ve been interviewed myself and am rather skeptical about the accuracy of interviewers. They can and do get things very wrong. Famous people at least can issue statements about it. So if anything is incorrect, we should eventually hear about it. Plus Jolie will be asked about it at some point in other interviews and she can speak for herself.

  3. astrid says:

    In the grand scheme of things, she’s done so much for so many people. I’m not turning my back on her now for this movie.

    • Shijel says:

      Maybe. But how is exploiting impoverished children and pouring money into a dictator’s army suddenly ok when it’s Angelina’s pet project?

      This isn’t a documentary, it’s a movie for entertainment. Not cool. Someone needs to tell the real story with fact soon.

    • V4Real says:

      You don’t have to turn your back on her or stop being a fan because she made a couple of wrong decisions. She’s not perfect, she makes mistakes. She made two really big ones related to this film. What she needs to do is own up to it and move on.

      • KB says:

        People seem to really approach her in black and white. She’s done good things and she’s made some mistakes. It’s like everyone wants to see her as saint or demon, fawn over her or boycott her. I’m not speaking to anyone specifically, it just seems to be a trend in how people talk about her.

      • lucy2 says:

        This. Human beings are not perfect and make mistakes. Sometimes small, sometimes large. It’s OK to admit you were wrong and try to learn from it. It’s also ok to admit that someone you like or admire has done something less than admirable. The defend at all costs, ignore facts that go against our preferences, all of that kind of stuff is WAAAAAY to prevalent right now.

      • karen says:

        Own up to what?

        You have one source (Vanity Fair writer) who doesn’t have anyone associated with either anecdote on the record. You have the writers impression and hearsay.

        Are you interested in hearing from Angelina or the film production, and having them address these issues on the record…or nah?

        Because it’s crazy when we assume as fact what a writer in a piece suggests, whether it’s In Touch or Vanity Fair or Rolling Stone.

      • Faye says:

        Great comment V4real. People are complex and are not going to get it right all the time. Angie is torn in her human rights work between putting her foot down and supporting the heritage of her son in a country whose people she loves. She’s walking a fine line and made a mistake that she needs to own up to. She does a lot of good things we see, she probably does a lot of unfortunate things we don’t. People are complex and others often forget that.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        @V4real,
        I completely agree with your take on Jolie and the public perception of her. The problem has always been that people do not allow Jolie do be a fully rounded person, faults and all. Honestly, I don’t think her fans want to know if she did something wrong and I don’t think they want her to admit to it if she did. That is not on Jolie, that is on them for being unable to see her as an entire person. She isn’t allowed that luxury.
        I really don’t understand it.

      • Ceire says:

        I’ve found that, in the last couple of years (the darkest timeline) I’ve had to really examine and assess the way that I used to look at celebrities and people I admire.

        I think it’s a spectrum – one one end the Cosbys and the Woody Allens; people I refuse to support in any way. There’s a middle ground of people I’m suspicious of but am still happy to pay to see – Matt Damon and Michael Fassbender for example.

        What I’m getting at it, I don’t really think there’s an end of the spectrum for people I unequivocally adore no matter what – celebs (and humans) are just too fallible. Nobody is perfect.

        Basically, I admire lots about Jolie, but I believe she’s made some poor choices in an effort to get this worthwhile film made. Both of those things can, and are, true at the same time.

      • karen says:

        @ceire

        Your post seems very rational, and not at all vindictive or breathless and eager with ‘gotcha!’ like many I usually read regarding Jolie.

        I think that’s why I have such a problem with her threads. They become difficult to peruse. I find them so demoralizing and even sexist and more of a comment or allegory on how women treat each other IRL also, when they’re threatened. It’s a phenomenon that I think was present during the campaign. Too many of us seem to have a knee jerk negative reaction to empowered women, so we work really hard to de-mystify them, normalize them and make them fallible. Too often ‘fallible’ for them means demonize.

        I’d remind people that this is one Vanity Fair writer and Angelina hasn’t addressed or clarified or corrected these two anecdotal stories from the writer.

        ..and yet so many want her to be tainted for all time on the basis of that. For her humanitarian reign that they resent as much as her beauty, to be over. Much like her physical beauty (see last months thread on a terribly photo shopped pic).
        The only topic for them that gets more comments and ferocity than her character(is she or isn’t she a genuine humanitarian? ), is her 41yo beautiful face.

        Both things that stir up the resentment and hate in the first place. Not a coincidence.

        So my question is, is it just me…or do objective others sense the frenzied, thrilling reaction from her detractors when rag and mag stories come out – like there’s blood in the water…as if yes, they finally got her- she’s at long last not worthy of praise for anything.

        I truly feel that’s why white women voted for Trump too.

      • Ceire says:

        @karen

        I know what you mean; there’s I sense when some people lay in on Jolie – “we’ve had to hold back before, now the b-tch is gonna get it!!” – less so here, but on other parts of the web.

        It’s tough, because I like her and there have been things about her that I’ve tried to cultivate in myself in some ways. When I see that kind of reaction to her, it almost hurts *my* feeling, ridiculous as that may be.

        I’ve been reminding myself that just as distasteful as someone really laying to her, so is other people’s excusing her. There’s no need to castigate her like you’ve won some victory over her, but also no need to bend over backwards to justify everything either.

        Basically: moderation.

        Also, I’ve noticed that knee jerk reaction you described. Here, but also in the real world. It’s depressing, and I have no great way to deal with it. Sometimes acknowledging it, even just to yourself, is enough, but sometimes it’s not enough, at all.

      • suriya says:

        @karen @ceire
        Thanks for your measured comments here.
        I avoid most Angelina threads because I feel as Karen does about them. And yes, there is definitely a frenzied glee when there’s a whiff of something that can bring her down. There’s very little moderation when it comes to AJ — she is very polarizing. Privately I do think it is somewhat related to her extraordinary beauty and success in making her life what she wants it to be.

        AJ doesn’t get more passes — the situation has always been the complete total opposite. I don’t idolize her and I don’t think she is perfect. Just a quick scan of the last couple of posts — so many “ho ho i always KNEW” “vile” “evil” aka burn her at the stake type comments that are nothing new.

        Now in this case, if true — based on well documented evidence of AJ’s years of commitment to charitable and humanitarian work, I don’t doubt for one second she had good intentions, but yes, it sounds like poor choices/mistakes were made. We don’t know the circumstances, but if she made mistakes, so be it.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        Beautiful comments, Suriya, Ceire, and Karen. This is the problem with criticism of not just Angelina Jolie, but with Beyoncé and a lot of other liberal female celebrities too. They can do something that’s bad (or sometimes just messy), but then many people who have had…. let’s just say other, less altruistic, more problematic or selfish reasons for hating them up until that point exploit it- often in misogynistic and/or racist ways. (People are already pulling the ‘fake activist’ and ‘repentant slut trope’ cards with this one, as usual). Then you have to carefully balance not giving her some pass you wouldn’t give anyone else and calling out an ally with also not giving people a pass with some of the misogynistic/racist/ homophobic/ just middle school BS they’ve been trying to pull since DAY ONE, and being critical of the all-or-nothing stances people have about activists.
        I’m not a stan. What Angelina did with the children and that exercise was a serious lapse in judgment on her part, that she should have known better, and that her decision and the thought process behind it came from a place of privilege. Her involvement with the Cambodian government here as well. A lot of- but not all of- the criticism is valid and balanced. But the idea that an activist messing up means that everything they’ve done up to that point was fake and that they can no longer be one is extreme, and some of the critiques ARE routed in misogyny, dubious political agendas, and catty hateboners people have. A person can hold all of those thoughts at once without being a blind stan. People can and often do hide what’s often sexism and a petty vendetta behind valid criticism of a fuck-up.

    • Megan says:

      When someone puts themselves forward as a human rights activist, we expect them to be a human rights activist 24/7, not just when it is convenient. Frankly, this is such an obvious mistake (as was accepting an honorary citizenship from a dictator) that I am beginning to wonder how much is genuine and how much is branding.

      • Maia says:

        Years ago an old college friend who worked for an SE Asia based NGO scoffed and went on a tirade against Angelina, saying that she was the biggest hack of all times. She had no understanding of complex issues in the regions she visited and was basically a media creation and has the most savvy PR. I was shocked then and have not ever brought up the topic since then. But I think she knew what she was talking about then. If these concerns eluded her- which are so obvious that even people like myself knows about them, then it would seem that she does lack basic understanding of what human rights means and entails.

      • LadyT says:

        Megan- This is how I’ve felt about her for a long time. Angelina has an extremely complex personality and it keeps me confused. Some of her missions and life goals are beyond admirable. Then she’ll say and do things that are totally incongruous, this being the most obvious example but without dredging up old history there are others. It makes me not quite trust her.

      • karen says:

        @megan

        Angelina was given honorary citizenship by the monarchy (King Norodom Sihamoni), not the. current Prime Minister.

        She didn’t ask for it, just went about clearing landmines, building AIDS/Malaria clinics and schools.

        Vanity Fair is not journalism usually, these anecdotes haven’t been sourced or presented as facts anywhere. It’s one writer’s impressions and writing style. I would wait until she addresses directly and clarifies (or not) before i burn her at the stake.

        On the basis of this one piece’s unconfirmed anecdote about army or gov extras we’ve now leaped to ‘Angelina is not genuine and doesn’t care because she’s just in the 2nd decade of her “branding.”

        That is not a believable premise. If she was only interested in ‘branding’ (whatever that means – like she had no ‘brand’ as an Oscar winning movie star?) there are less difficult ways to go about it than wearing flak jackets in war zones, clearing mines and building schools and clinics. She could stay on a Malibu beach and occasionally give to children’s hospitals or attend charity auctions.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        @Karen,
        Angelina is the source of these facts. She may or may not add to them in the future. Regardless, she doesn’t need to be “burned at the stake” and no one is suggesting that. No matter how this turns out, she still will have done the humanitarian work that you mentioned. One thing doesn’t negate the other.

        Also, she is in the business of filmmaking and self-promotion. They are not mutually exclusive. She herself has said that she makes films that “matter” to her. She is attempting to bring her two worlds together as disparate as they are. In doing so, she may have become overzealous about authenticity and made a huge error. I think you may be seeing that some are just less inclined to fall into the trap of thinking that Angelina can’t make a mistake. The world isn’t going to spin off its axis. It didn’t when she made those decisions about the kids and the army and implemented them and it isn’t going to now that she has spoken about it. It’s never to late to learn and she would do well to acknowledge that, as would her fans.

      • karen says:

        That’s odd @maia

        I’ve been aware of Angelina’s career and humanitarianism for some time, and for every one instance of someone saying she wasn’t the real deal, and didn’t know her stuff (and honestly, yours is quite literally the first) — I’ve read and heard from dozens of people in the field, professionals, and those who’ve made humanitarian crisis outreach their career, who say the complete opposite. People that have been with her in the field, who are in and know the same people and organizations.

        Your friend seems like she’s not even in the same organizations, a non profit what?

        I’ve never heard anyone say what you claim your ‘friend on a tirade,’ maintained. It’s only ever been the opposite – which is why Angelina has been recognized when others in her industry have not to the same extent.

        You can put it down to her being a master manipulator of the media, but that’s an insult to her and the orgs she serves. Like theyd be in the field with her and have decided to ignore her ignorance and falsely praise a skill set she doesn’t have for the cold hard cash she bribes them with?

        Come on.

        It’s interesting she or you give no specifics. What kind of charity is your tirade friend with? An NGO in SEAsia is about as non specific as it gets. Lol Did they work in the field together? What was the issue or issues Angelina had no ‘complex understanding’ of? What was her understanding of what Angelina’s duties as an UNHCR Ambassador entailed? Most of all, why was she so angry? Seems odd.

        Maybe she had a personal beef. Or was a big Friends fan.

        Because honestly, if I met a celebrity who i knew had built schools and AIDs clinics and de-mined hundreds of acres and built communities – they could be a drooling idiot about whatever I might think was a “complex issue” and I still wouldn’t have the fortitude to go on a tirade against such a person who saved lives and did so many great things.

        Think about it.

      • karen says:

        @ladyt
        Lol, here we go.

        Yea she can save all the livws, educate all the girls, cute all the malaria and de-mine thousands of acres, but the fact that she was so willing to fall in love with ‘Brad Pitt, ‘ after he had left Jennifer Aniston, really makes me distrust her humanity.

        I mean, come on ladies: Brad Pitt tells you he’s free and single and has fallen in love with you and your son- unlike that distrustful hussy Angelina, we’d all tell him to eff off, am I right?!

        The fact that she was with him for 12 years and had 6 kids just means she’s even more of a fly by night tramp having a fling.

      • Megan says:

        @Karen Lady T expressed a thoughtful opinion. She said nothing about Brad Pitt. Your argument would be more convincing if you got your facts straight about what has actually been posted here as well as what humanitarian work Jolie has actually done.

      • LadyT says:

        Karen- I can see how you thought I was referring to a certain person when I referenced “old history.” But you would not be correct. I’ve never, ever had a dog in that fight and it annoys me no end when other people keep bringing it up.

      • Sticks says:

        Makes me wonder too, Megan.

      • Mle428 says:

        @Megan….or should I say Chelsea Handler. I would hate to be in your inner circle. Clearly all worthy humans are infallible.

        I work in a profession that people consider noble. I’m a complicated person, and sometimes make mistakes trying to do the right thing. My complex work environment makes my existence as a wife and mother equally as complicated.

        If I had the resources of Angelina, I would be out there trying to help humanity in areas in which I’m passionate about. I’m sure there would be learning curves along the way…and that’s IF there’s truly a reason to be upset about the making of this film. Thus far there is a distinct lack of clarity.

      • Ronaldinhio says:

        My brother worked with her
        She’s the real deal
        He had no skin in the game.
        Said she was focussed extremely knowledgeable and utterly unstarlike. She worked a very intense schedule, got into the meat of matters and was always, always learning
        That was more than 10yrs ago
        He is a stoic cynical vaguely misogynistic man who hates snowflake celebs
        His praise, given flatly, is worth noting

  4. Maya says:

    Seriously? Why the f does this woman get attacked for every single thing?

    The casting story was disturbing but I won’t decide on it until I hear from Angelina directly. The media is notoriously known to twist people’s words for publicity and especially to attack women.

    But this attack on how Angelina actually worked in a diplomatic way with both the government and the people is just plain pathetic.

    All those people on yesterday’s thread didn’t have anything against Slumdog Millionair movie and crew for their exploitation of the children in India. But since it is Angelina- burn her at the stakes even if there is an explanation to this.

    • Cleo says:

      Because Angelina is the real victim here, right?

    • V4Real says:

      Maya Slumdog Millionaire? Yes, people did have issues with that. But since you want to compare that to AJ, then ok. AJ is a humanitarian who fights against the bad treatment and exploitation of children but yet she exploited children to benefit her film. The director and crew of Slumdog has never claimed to be any of that. There’s your difference. AJ can be compared to a man who speaks out against domestic violence but is then caught abusing his spouse.

      • karen says:

        So now we’re comparing Angelina Jolie to men who commit domestic violence? That’s an especially ironic and cruel dig considering what’s been alluded to about her traumatized children and volatile breakup with her husband.

        Tell me again why Angelina is now OJ?

        Is it because she wanted to give children who weren’t from privelege, parts in her film? Or was it because of the unconfirmed anecdote regarding the ‘game’ or exercise during casting? Or was it both?

        Again America, you’d come off as way less hypocritical, if you didn’t have popular tv network shows imploring parents to pick up cameras, trick and traumatize their kids for 15 minutes of fame on Kimmel. You don’t know those kids backgrounds either. Where’s the compassion?

        At least regarding the casting anecdote the kids were in on it. It may have even been fake money.

        But back to the destruction of Angelina Jolie….carry on, as per your usual.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        @Karen,
        I don’t know if you realize it but your defensive posts are doing more harm than good.
        V4real never suggested that Jolie was OJ. I don’t see that suggestion anywhere on this thread. You are correct that most people view her casting process with the children extremely negatively as they should. This so called anecdote was related by Angelina Jolie. I don’t know why you don’t believe her. Perhaps, you think that there is more to the story and if that’s the case, she needs to speak up. Otherwise, we are left with the information that she provided.
        As to the helpless children being “in on it” when it comes to the casting “game”…I don’t think that argument is going to wash. Those kids are disenfranchised and not in any position to be “in on” anything little less decisions made by wealthy Hollywood filmmakers. Do not hold them accountable for their own exploitation.
        Lastly, and far less importantly, V4real was not making an ironic or cruel dig about domestic violence. For one, there is not one iota of evidence that Jolie or her children suffered any DV worthy of incarceration after the investigation was over. Pitt most likely showed his ass as a substance abuser often does and it heralded the end of his marriage. That does not equal domestic violence and I don’t know why you want it to or why Jolie wants to keep alluding to it as if it does. Further, the marriage, breakup and divorce have literally nothing to do with Jolie as a director.\
        What Kimmel and a very silly but often negatively remarked on Halloween prank have to do with this, I don’t know. Comparing the two only highlights that you cannot see the difference in pretending to take candy from typical American children by their parents and a stranger going to orphanages and using those children’s experiences as motivators for acting in a movie. Do you really not see the difference?
        No one is trying to destruct Angelina Jolie.

    • Sim says:

      Lmaoooooooo. Girl just stop. Nothing was taken out of context. It was her interview. It was part of her post-Brad comeback. You know what makes me so sad? The way she told the story. The details…the part about her shedding tears when the people thought the Khmer was back. If that isn’t a God complex she has going on there I dunno what else is. Oh God I’m gonna have to reserve some of my comments on this. How dare she do that to those kids. Oh youre mad there wasn’t equal outrage over slum dog? Girllllll
      Okay okay you Angelina fans are absolute loonies. Compared to this the slum dog kids weren’t even exploited. How can’t you see this is bad? While the slum dog situation was bad this was worse. This came from her directly. She cannot explain herself out of this. She shared it because she didn’t even see anything wrong with it. Some of you even had the guts to say bollocks like “the kids are now best friends with her kids and went to Disneyland yada yada” Girl the actual fuck is going on here? Nobody has even torn into her yet. Imagine if this were Sean Penn or Kristen Stewart who got more hate for comparing paparazzi to rape. Imagine if this were Jennifer Aniston or Beyonce or Goop or Ben Affleck or even Jennifer Garner who is relatively well liked. Someone called it cognitive dissonance and I don’t disagree at all heck even Kaiser is spitting out some word salads trying to make it look leas than but we all know! Ansel elgort, Kim kardashian, charlize Theron have gotten more hate on this forum for merely existing than Jolie has gotten for this. This is bad. This cannot be justified.
      Also @Artemis was very spot on yesterday with her assessments of her interview. So out of touch its laughable

    • KB says:

      Her telling the story to the reporter was you hearing from her directly. Are you waiting for a call or something?

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      You won’t believe about the casting until you hear from Angie herself? Stan, please. She gave the interview, those were her words. She has already spoken about it.

      It’s so troubling to me that she has been working actively in humanitarian causes for more than a decade and had therapists on set because she KNEW what she was doing was traumatizing and DID IT ANYWAY. For a film, no less. Angelina is not the victim here, and she deserves every criticism she gets for putting her film project before the wellbeing of already traumatized children.

      • Savasana Lotus says:

        She’s in deep with prime minister Sen who is former Khmer and continues the Khmer violence. He is also the one who made Ti Tith, the commander who ordered the genocide of 560,000 and had his henchmen kill 40,000 in the prisons, sell his land to Jolie. Tith did not want to sell. Jolie used her influence with the government to force Tith to sell to her. Otherwise the land would have been taken from him by the government if he didn’t sell to her. She did the same with a smaller plot of land she bought from Rieng Cheat, a Khmer soldier involved in the genocide. She has three houses on the land. All at fire sale prices. So she robbed families of their homes of 20+ years by forcing one monster to cave to another (Tith and Sen). It’s all very complex. She does it under the guise of a foundation for reclamation of environment. But it’s her personal home where she lives and swims in the river. So is she in deep with the Khmer/current government/army for personal gain and exploitation? After the casting game, one could argue that she is I suppose.

      • LadyT says:

        Savasana- you seem to have close personal knowledge to share.

    • neil says:

      I don’t worry about it myself. This is part in parcel of a recurring narrative that has been going on for as long as I have been a fan of hers. Just like you can guess every plot direction in every James Bond movie I can tell what will happen here. Bad press, doesn’t defend herself. somehow record gets set straight and truth emerges, smell still lingers, opinions both good and bad are reinforced, Angie ploughs ahead with her life and with her causes and once again THEY become the narrative focus and once again Angie is “rehabilitated” in the media and public’s eye. The cream, as they say, always rises to the top. Her restraint is her strength and damage control, an alien concept.

  5. Erinn says:

    But does this really make her better? Choosing to do her movie exactly as she wants it while working with a group of people who have a lot of human rights violations?

    Is it really better that she GIVES these people money rather than accepting money the way that we complain about starlets doing?

    I don’t know. I think this whole movie PR is bringing to light some questionable things about Jolie that we wouldn’t have really noticed before, and I find a lot of it really troubling. Shouldn’t we be holding her to HIGHER standards because of the humanitarian work she does? Shouldn’t she be more educated on the horrors people face and the way that dictators treat their people?

    I’m not saying that her previous work is somehow invalid because of these interviews at all. I think she’s done a lot for many different nations, and raised a ton of awareness while doing so. But I also expected more from her because of her work, and because of her involvement in humanitarian causes.

    • Maya says:

      So please answer this – I want to make a movie about the suffering in a country where I want to include the people who suffered. The people in that country were happy to be part of a movie which shows the horror they suffered and the only way to do that was to compromise and get permission from the current regime.

      How should I then proceed? Critize the government and lose the permission or work with them to compromise in a way that will make all the parties happy especially those people who suffered during the genocide?

      • EOA says:

        There is a world of options between “criticizing the government” and “working with them,” as HRW pointed out.

      • Erinn says:

        Here’s the thing. This isn’t the first time she’s had issues related to Cambodia and paying the wrong people. She purchased land back in the early 2000′s from Yim Tith. Yim Tith is a mass murderer, human rights abuser. He was a commander of the army she yet again paid. He’s wanted by the UN for crimes against humanity. She’s a UN ambassadress – do you not find that concerning?

        There’s always negotiation that can be done. She could have worked with diplomats more to sort things out. I doubt she was FORCED to use actual mass murdering, torture loving, Khmer Rogue soldiers. She could have used extras. She could have sacrificed certain aspects of having the movie ‘exactly as she wanted it’ in favor of not insulting – but not supporting – these kinds of people. There’s a difference between following an oppressive governments rules and taking care not to cause extreme conflict, and just going along with everything and allowing the very people who tortured and killed so many to get to pretend to be actors for a movie.

        I don’t understand how someone can set out to make a movie about the horrors of this group of soldiers, use extremely questionable tactics to cast emotionally vulnerable children – who’s lives and the lives of their parents and grandparents have been affected by these soldiers – and then go ahead and CAST these soldiers in the movie.

        Either do a documentary, or go hire extras to play the part. It’s not like she’s new to the film industry. It’s not like she’s new to humanitarian efforts.

      • Sixer says:

        Maya – if you are a much-vaunted humanitarian and you want to do something ethically – well, if you can’t do it ethically, you don’t do it. Simple as. If you want to find out if you can do it ethically, you contact your country’s diplomatic service and respected orgs such as HRW and take advice on how it could be accomplished. If they find you a way, you take it. If they don’t, you give it up.

        Alternatively, you can insist on going ahead in an unethical way and accept that by doing so, you give up your reputation as a much-vaunted humanitarian. Again, simple as.

      • Savasana Lotus says:

        Erin. Great comment. I will piggy-back by adding that the extras were paid $25 per day. I don’t care how little the average wage is normally. This is absolutely unacceptable. That IS exploitation.

      • Nyawira says:

        Maya I think the solution is that she needs to know her place. She should have limited her role to obtaining financing and distribution and then identifIed a Cambodian fIlm maker to make this film. It would have given an otherwise overlooked artist a shot and a Cambodian would have been more respectful of the human rights situation. I’m sorry but all of these are pretty classic white savior errors that could have been avoided

      • MissMarierose says:

        So, in your scenario, this corrupt and murderous government is ok with someone making a movie for worldwide distribution that would presumably criticize and expose their horrors for a worldwide audience, just so long as their soldiers are cheaply paid extras? In other words, the compromise they demand never touches the content of the movie to be made?

        Hmm. That doesn’t sound plausible to me.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        From commenter SM from yesterday:
        “If you guys remember, a while back Cary Fukunaga did a movie about child soldiers Beasts of No Nation. If I recall correctly, the story which is based on the civil war in Sierra Leone was made not there but in Ghana, so the local cast would be removed from the experience and Cary stressed that they tried to make the experience as comfortable for the locals by separating the film from reality (the film it self was pretty dark, but they would play football and make movie viewing between work), so they would clearly understand that whatever was going on on camera was a make-believe removing it from the experiences of people. While may be still tricky to involve kids who are poor and orphaned for purely artistic purposes, clearly there are more human ways to do that than what Agnie is describing and at least recognise the sensitivity of the situation”

        From commenter Cherise:
        “The boy playing opposite Idris was so good and I was pleased to learn that he wasnt digging into actual experience. He was just a middle class boy from Ghana which has thankfully never experienced war. None of the kids were explained the implied molestation scene and that was by design. The director just told them what face to make when Idris character called them to his tent (Seeing your least favorite teacher in the middle of your holidays). And Idris says he made sure to casually chat out of character with the kid before and after the scene so that a psycological distance between acting and real life could be made.”

    • halliego says:

      if she were a humanitarian this would have been a documentary.

      but it’s not, it’s a movie, because she’s an actress. like all actresses, she likes the spotlight. power, attention, control.

      she’s an actress (and i guess director) that’s. it.

  6. Dana says:

    It is possible filmmaker, Rithy Panh and author and human rights activist, Loung Ung, who worked beside her during the making of FTKMF didn’t find the casting process offensive.

    • Shijel says:

      Saying this is as ridiculous as that time when the Japanese audience was cool beans with the white remake of Ghost in the Shell so it’s all cool. It’s not, because it wasn’t cool for people of Japanese descent not living in Japan, and their voices matter too.

      This thing here might be cool with Loung Ung and Rithy Panh, but they are not the arbiters of “cool and uncool” when it comes to human rights abuses, exploitation of impoverished people for entertainment (which a movie is), and financing an oppressive force by hiring them.

      There are no passes for trespassing on human rights.

    • lucy2 says:

      Then…that would make them wrong as well?

  7. BearcatLawyer says:

    She made conscious choices to work cooperatively with an autocratic regime that persecutes its own people. Hun Sen and his minions have been running amok for over 30 years in Cambodia – this is NOT a new development by any means. Glad she is finally answering for it on some level. But it makes me question whether she truly understands the complexities of human rights work.

    • tracking says:

      Is her lack of full understanding surprising? She is sincere about her human rights work, but she is a celebrity for whom it is a hobby, and she possesses no advanced degrees in this area. I hope she is open to being educated about this, and will respond accordingly.

      • Maya says:

        I didn’t know that you needed an advanced degree to understand human rights.

        Please tell that to millions of people around the world who is not only understands the rights but also works tirelessly to make sure the rights aren’t being taken away. I am willing to bet that only 10 percent of those would have degrees especially advanced degrees.

      • tracking says:

        Yes, tirelessly is your key word–meaning their FT life’s work with boots on the ground 24/7 not a few weeks per year of visits involving heavy security etc. Very different.

    • Maya says:

      Please answer this – I am Tamil from Sri Lanka and I want to make a movie about the genocide the Singalease did to the Tamils for 3 decades and especially the mass killings that happened 7 years ago.

      I want the movie to involved Sri Lankan Tamils and I want it to be shot in North Sri Lanka where it happened.

      I cannot shot a movie there without a permission from the very government who killed those people. I will now have to negotiate and compromise to be able to show the story I want.

      Does that make me a traitor or someone who doesn’t understand human suffering and their rights?

      • EOA says:

        Again, “getting permission from the government” and “working with them to include actual soldiers in the film”? Not the same thing.

      • tracking says:

        You can elect not to work directly with the army and not to traumatize your actors, right?

      • Maya says:

        Not work with the government? Please tell how I can do that?

        It seems to me that people here just don’t understand how the real world works. Sometimes you have to work with the bad guys to be able do the good you want.

        For the record, I was in Sri Lanka 7 years ago and saw the horrors myself. Even after experiencing that I know that sometimes you have to be diplomatic to gain things. Life is not black and white..

      • Dj Jazzy Jen says:

        Settle it down Stretch Armstrong. You are really reaching for anything to try to justify behavior that has absolutely no right to be even remotely defended.

      • BearcatLawyer says:

        She could have compromised by hiring extras instead of using the actual army. She could have warned the villagers about the filming. She could have taken additional steps to minimize the closure of the location shoots and compensate people fairly for their inconvenience. There is a myriad of ways she could have limited her cooperation with the regime and truly helped the people about whom she professes to care.

      • kat1992 says:

        Also a Sri Lankan Tamil (Canadian) here who has been to the North and East and conducted research there. I agree that she would have to get government permission to film. But like others have said, to employ the army? That would be like hiring the Sri Lankan Army and having them recreate atrocities in actual communities in the North and East, communities where the trauma of what happened is still very fresh (and where relations with the army continue to be fraught). Getting permission is one thing, but utilizing a faction of the state which is complicit in human rights atrocities is just not responsible filmmaking. This isn’t “working with the bad guys” to try and come to some peace deal. It’s working with the bad guys so that you can get a movie made. Is it really worth it?

        And the whole idea of authenticity is a bit concerning to me. There are other, less exploitative ways, to present the horrors of what happened during the time of the Khmer Rouge, than having to engage children in a casting process which plays on their actual experiences or make use of the army (AGAIN HIRE EXTRAS!). I read a comment on yesterday’s post of AJ about Cary Fukunaga and Beasts of No Nation, and how careful he was to ensure that people would feel “removed from the experience.” I don’t think that affected the ‘authenticity’ of the film.

        This doesn’t invalidate what AJ has done in the past, but given her position as an advocate for human rights, who works closely with the UN, and has been appointed by prestigious institutes like the LSE to teach about conflict, this is disappointing. And as for this comment being patronizing: “It’s not clear whether she understands that and it’s not clear whether she cares about it,” … until AJ comes out and is transparent about the film’s production, I continue to be highly skeptical about what went on.

      • AsIf says:

        you just don’t want to understand, Maya, do you? I’m probably just wasting my time on you, because you conveniently only read the words that fit you agenda, but: everyone is saying that Yes, she obviously has to get permission from the government, if she wants to film there, but she didn’t have to work as closely with them as she did (including actual soldiers & benefiting Khmer Rouge).

      • Savasana Lotus says:

        @Maya. I understand what you are asking. The answer: SHE COULD HAVE MADE THE MOVIE IN VIETNAM. PERIOD. I’m not yelling at you. Just emphasizing the simple point.

      • MissMarierose says:

        I think it makes you naive for thinking that government will let you make the movie you want, if indeed the movie you want to make truly exposes that government.
        The premise you keep putting in your comments ignores the fact that a totalitarian government is gonna come for the content of the movie first and whitewash it until it meets their objectives.

      • Bridget says:

        Why would you even WANT to work with the government that’s made up of people that perpetrated this?

    • Sim says:

      I don’t think she understands the complexities either. Remember when she was supposed to give that lecture and people were like “is she even qualified?” See who’s right now? But you know what? She has done a lot which cushions this just a tiny bit for me but I’d never see her the same way anymore. Now she just looks like a fraud

    • Emma33 says:

      I spent 4 months in Cambodia a few years ago, and people are so scared to talk politics there. I remember having a whispered conversation about the government with a woman who was actually an Australian citizen (she was back in Cambodia visiting family), and even she was too scared to speak openly.

      Just from a very personal perspective, I’ve traveled a fair amount in developing countries that have experienced conflict (Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Colombia), and in ten years of travel I would say that Cambodia is the most traumatized country I have been to. I just found the atmosphere to be so tense, and so heavy and depressed…I find it hard to put into words, but it was depressing and I didn’t enjoy being there. The country has hardly begun to recover from what Pol Pot did to it, and you can feel it in the air. That is why I am so surprised at this story about casting kids in the movie…it should have been completely obvious that it was unacceptable.

      I am sure Angelina is aware on some level of the complexity of working in Cambodia — she must already have links to the government to do her philanthropic work there — but it is such an ethical mine-field. I think paying members of the army to act as Pol Pot soldiers was a bridge too far. Ex members of that regime are still running the country!

      Also, Angelina works with vulnerable populations all the time with UNHCR, and she should have people advising her on how NOT to traumatize or trigger children during an auditions process.

      • BearcatLawyer says:

        This. Cambodia has not even begun to fully recover. The people in power are only slightly less horrible than the Khmer Rouge.

        I recognize that sometimes to achieve a particular good you have to put up with some bad people. But ideally you do not keep engaging with them over and over again. You do not let them use you for their propaganda machine. You should do your best to ensure that benefits flow to people who deserve them rather than the bad actors. Angelina’s actions in Cambodia seem remarkably tone deaf for a woman who professes to care about human rights.

      • Savasana Lotus says:

        Thank you for your informed comment. In my way of thinking, this is an ongoing story of frustrated healing from genocide. The healing has not happened. That should be the topic of a documentary. OR, she could have done a documentary including dramatic recreations of this woman’s story without turning the country and their lives upside down.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I am seriously rethinking things about her I sort of ignored. There were people who criticized her but her rabid fans drowned them out. This is more than negligent when you take everything and put it together. She was proud the people were terrified because they thought the real Khmer Rouge soliders were coming for them. What is now even more diabolical is that she used real soldiers. WTF! All in the name of authenticity.

      • hogtowngooner says:

        Like this one?

        “I thought, ‘What story do I feel is really important to tell?’ I felt this war that happened 40 years ago and what happened to these people was not properly understood. And not just for the world, but for the people of the country. I wanted them to be able to reflect on it in a way that they could absorb.”

        She made a film about Cambodia, presented it to Cambodians, and wanted to make sure THEY understood it. It hit me the wrong way then, and after this story, kind of takes a new meaning.

      • Aren says:

        Same here.
        I stopped being a huge fan after what happened with Brad, but this just shows a different image of her, one that seems to be more accurate and doesn’t deny her “past”; the image of a self-absorbed actress who wanted attention, admiration, and respect, and used others to get it.

      • Ankhel says:

        For many cambodians, suddenly seeing hundreds of actual soldiers, dressed like the Khmer Rouge, entering their community? Try imagining you were a jew in Germany, say in the 70′s, and you were suddenly faced with a whole division of real soldiers dressed like the SS. That’s the kind of fear we’re talking about here.

  8. Lalu says:

    I don’t understand the mentality that because she isn’t going to make a bunch of money off the movie, that it somehow makes this less detestable than dancing in a leotard for an evil dictator.
    There are far more selfish motivators than just money.
    Nothing about the article was flattering to her except the photos. I still think she is a beautiful woman. But there is something really off about her that she participated in this.

    • tracking says:

      She did not come across well in the article. The tone was different than the fawning coverage she’s received in the past–I wonder if Pitt’s clout had protected her more then. Considering the pics were photoshopped to high hell and look nothing like her candids now, they’re not all that flattering either (in a real sense).

      • Mildred Pierce says:

        Umm…have you forgotten how she was attacked for Blood and Honey in 2011? It was brutal and she was still with Brad so your point about him not protecting her now doesn’t make sense. How many times has she been slammed in the media since 2005?
        If Brad had all the powers, WWZ wouldn’t have been trashed the way it was so much that he had to take the movie to the people by making surprise appearances. Vanity Fair made it their cover story. Even Angelina had to help him promote it even though she’d just had a mastectomy.

  9. Jenna says:

    I suspect she is going to release a statement in response to this backlash. I’m going to sit tight and not pass judgement until then.

  10. Anya says:

    No, she choses to work with a dictatorship when she had alternatives.
    Cambogian government gave her citizenship cause it’s good PR for them.
    I don’t doubt she loves the country and the people, but she’s blinded at best or worse an hypocrite.
    If it was anyone but AJ, people would boycott the movie.

  11. Barbcat says:

    Maybe she is not as humanitarian nor intelligent as everyone seems to think. Perhaps she does this type of work for vanity and to make herself look good? It appears making a movie was more important to her than basic human rights.

    I think she is not the person she portrays and the mask has cracked. I always thought it was interesting how she “turned her life around” and seemed to become a different person. Maybe not..

      • G says:

        This is honestly my view too. It’s too often dismissed as ‘jealousy’, or being ‘Team Aniston’ or ‘Team Pitt’, or I don’t know, picking on Jolie for the sake of it? It’s none of those things. Jolie has done good work in terms of promotion, donation, yes. But I think ultimately her motivation is largely about herself and her reputation.

        People sometimes change, but they rarely become different people entirely. There are plenty of contemporary ‘celebrity humanitarians’ whose motives, I think, are understood to be both selfless and inherently selfish. I don’t know why Jolie gets a pass on this. Not saying that we should crucify her for it either, mind you — just that she shouldn’t be put on such a pedestal.

        When it comes down to it, Jolie is a Hollywood movie star first and foremost. She can make as many self-indulgent vanity projects as she wants — a million By the Seas! But if she’s going to exploit real human suffering under a misguided belief that it’s ‘worth it’ for a movie, a movie!, then surely we have to question a.) her level of understanding, b.) her level of influence, and c.) her motivations.

    • Sim says:

      Look barbcat, I kinda feel the same way too. You know what cemented it for me that it was to make herself feel good? This stupid interview. The tiny details about how she cried and how the people fell on their knees thinking Khmer was back. She wants us to know she’s being a good person for this and she didn’t put herself first. Isn’t it funny that this interview was conducted in her house and no PR person was probably around for it so she didn’t think what she said through at all. This should be investigated thoroughly in my opinion. OMG I just can’t with Maya going up and down the thread trying to defend victim Angie.
      We can see everything is PR now

      • Maya says:

        Can you stop with the personal attack here? Everyone is allowed their opinion and should not be personally attacked.

        I only wrote against two comments that I felt I needed to question. In no way did I personally attack them nor critize their comments.

        Again I am not defending Angelina just pointing out the hypocrisy and that I am waiting to hear her statement.

        Unlike some people I wait and see before I take away people’s years of good work.

      • cloro says:

        @Maya but it was her statement????? she literally told that to the magazine? http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/07/angelina-jolie-cover-story here you go. it’s a cover story she/her team definitely went over it and approved it. stop being ridiculous

      • Honey says:

        Maya, why are you having such a hard time admitting Jolie isn’t perfect and she made a mistake? Chill out with being so defensive. You sound a little obsessed and silly.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I think I overlooked my own instincts because the triangle thing muddied the waters. It made her seem like an evil homewrecker and I can’t stand that trope. My own bias clouded my judgement and I admit it. Now the things that have bothered me are starting to make sense. It is like Mother Theresa who everyone said was so kind and wonderful but that wasn’t the whole story.

        “Our fascination with figures like Mother Teresa, white men and women who are applauded for their work ‘saving’ people in non-white areas makes it blatantly clear just how entrenched white supremacy still is in our collectivity.”

        “Often shown photographed with Princess Diana, the Clintons and Pope John Paul II, very few touch on her close relationship with the Duvalier regime in Haiti. The Duvalier family lived in luxury whilst many in the country suffered in poverty, they tortured and murdered political rivals, and were involved in the underground trading of drugs and body parts. Their brutal regime was no secret at the time, but all Mother Teresa had to say was that they were full of love. In her home country of Albania, she laid flowers on the grave of former Communist dictator, Enva Hoxha”
        I got those quotes from an article about Mother Theresa and it seems to apply here.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        It’s one thing to admit that she’s not perfect and call out that she’s made two harmful choices here. It’s another to leap from that valid criticism to both objectifying her and demonizing her at the same time with the “These two failings PROVE that her activism has been about nothing but making herself look good and making her ‘slutty’ past not look so bad. Narcissistic fake activist wh*re!” implication in this thread (and elsewhere). Are these people not capable of seeing this is an example of how even a well-intentioned activist who has done good is still a flawed human being who can fuck up and make a bad decision that harms someone and need to be called out for that harm? Her MISOGYNISTIC and catty critics (NOT the balanced ones who are offering valid criticism of what she’s done here) are even more a part of the ‘not seeing her and other female celebrities as flawed people’ problem.

    • Realme says:

      This!
      You know, diplomats and high profile humanitarians have impeccable educational background and work their a@@ off full time for years or decades to reach the level of knowledge, experience, skills, nerwork to be able to do their job without messing things up .
      How can people expect her to be more than a celebrity , involved by international organizations to raise awareness on certain issues under their strict control? They don’t call her to solve those issues, you know?

      • G says:

        Agree 100%
        Celebrities can be good for raising public awareness, for donating money etc. If they want to dirty their hands on the ground as actual aid workers then sure, I’d be on board with that too.
        But a Hollywood movie star — raised by movie stars — who has never been anything but a movie star? How can anyone pretend that they have a level of understanding and expertise that justifies the position and influence they attain in the humanitarian world? Jolie has a great deal of power, and it seems clear from the production of this movie that she doesn’t always know how to use it responsibly.

    • minxx says:

      “Maybe she is not as humanitarian nor intelligent as everyone seems to think. Perhaps she does this type of work for vanity and to make herself look good? It appears making a movie was more important to her than basic human rights.

      I think she is not the person she portrays and the mask has cracked. I always thought it was interesting how she “turned her life around” and seemed to become a different person. Maybe not.. ”

      This! I’ve been waiting for everyone to catch up to her games. It’s all narcissism, plain and simple. She hasn’t changed at all since her early days but she sure fooled a lot of people.

    • Ayra. says:

      That’s it BCat. I don’t doubt that she has done some good, made nice speeches and brought awarness.
      But it wouldn’t be farfetched to say that she’s been wearing a mask. And we’ve seen her mask crack for years, not only by this casting incident but by other situations and the way she portrays herself.
      It always seems as though she was the public to leave with some intense sympathy for what she’s done. (And don’t get this twisted with the Brad situation, because it isn’t).

      People put this woman on such a high ass pedestal, and now refuse to see that she’s in the same league as some other celebs that they have no issue bashing, her only difference is her Human Rights work.

      Her fans are in full denial mode.

    • Aren says:

      It’s like it was there all the time, but we just couldn’t believe it.
      “She didn’t adopt children to help them?, Really?”.

    • Karen says:

      Agree. I do not think she is very intelligent. It is called arrogance. And she did,this to make a lousy movie-she is a horrible director. And writer. I cannot think of a project that she did recently that is memorable or meaningful. The Sony people were truthful in their email.

      There are other actors who are celebrity supporters of Oxfam. Yet they keep silent.
      https://www.looktothestars.org/charity/oxfam

      Kristin Davis is amazing.

      • K.I.T.T says:

        The leaked emails showed Angelina in a good light and Rudin looked truly bad and everything he accused Angelina of, he was. When reading Angelina’s emails, she came out of it looking good, was the general consensus.

        And the ‘other celebrity supporters’ are not UN Special Envoys. So your post is completely irrelevant. Also, if ‘they’ keep silent, then they are not doing their job and are not actively supporting the cause. So thanks for telling us these actors and celebrities are LAZY and simply have it on their CV for the sake of it, and not actually DOING something. ;)

  12. Jeesie says:

    I’m amazed at the mental gymnastics people will put themselves through to defend her.

    She chose to make a film about the results of a violent dictatorship by collaborating with a violent dictatorship. No one forced her to make the film the way she did. She could have filmed it without accepting so much involvement from the government. She could have made a documentary instead. She could have just focused on bringing renewed attention to the book via her influence. Or she could have stuck her neck out and made something that talks about the many, many terrible things happening in Cambodia right now, instead of tacitly endorsing the people terrorising Cambodians today.

    This whole endeavour is such a huge mess, and the fact that even with hindsight she doesn’t seem to see any of the massive missteps she’s made here does make me doubt her credentials as a humanitarian. It’s not patronising to wonder why on earth someone in her position made so many deeply problematic choices, and why she doesn’t even seem to realise there could be an issue.

    • ArchieGoodwin says:

      I agree with you. I said yesterday that a documentary is a different thing, interviewing children for a documentary.

      But a movie, to tell a story but with an entertainment value attached? It’s like GOT. Gratuitous suffering (violence for GOT) just for a movie (TV show) is a huge blight on our society.

      I’m still so disappointed, and I no longer see her as I did, which is all on me. I admired her greatly.

      • annier says:

        that’s the main thing i keep wondering… why not make a documentary if she wanted to tell the story? she’s an actress at the end of the day and wants to be an actress. not a humanitarian.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        Well, I can tell you why she didn’t make a documentary. It’s because she wants an Oscar for film-making like Scorcese, Speilberg, or Ron Howard. She isn’t as interested in an Oscar for Best Documentary. For one thing, a documentary is by definition entirely focused on the subject of said documentary and not at all, or shouldn’t be, about the filmmaker and his/her feelings and family involvement.

    • truth hurts says:

      More than Angelina is involed in this there a many more people. She is supposedly telling a story of Loung. This is getting blown up for obvious reasons tho.
      She just can’t make a movie on her own ya know. Netflix had to approve it. I mean everything. People have seen this movie already and if there was Anything creeping beneath the surface it would be out by now.

  13. Cleo says:

    She exploited impoverished children. She triggered villagers when they saw the army in Khmer Rouge uniform. She used an abusive, oppressive military in the movie. For what? To make some probably mediocre movie that no one will see. If she wanted to shed light on this, a documentary would have been a better choice.

    But the thing that warrants shade here is the fact that a man who has dedicated his life to improving those of others was maybe “patronizing” to a movie star? Sure.

  14. Jb says:

    The casting story is quite grim. It was her explanation so I’m unclear what more she can add – perhaps children were compensated in some way for “participating” in the casting? That’s my only hope and that it was a detail not added to the VF article.

    • V4Real says:

      Money doesn’t take away emotional scars or trauma.

    • KB says:

      I think her best option would be to emphasize that the children were expected to create a pretend scenario that they needed the money for and that the child they cast stuck out because she drew on her own experience without being told to or expected to.

      If they also let the kids keep the money and paid for the grandfather’s funeral, that’d be a nice touch as well.

      Ultimately though, they can’t deny that it’s problematic to offer a bunch of orphans and poor kids money and then take it away as a “game” to cast their movie.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        This is probably the best option for her. Still, Jolie purposefully sought out children that had experienced hardship. She was relying on those hardships to inform their behavior. The trauma they experienced was, as someone said yesterday, to be mined to produce authenticity in her film. I don’t know how she can fix that. She should just own up to it and apologize.

  15. truth hurts says:

    Plus did anyone make a big deal out of the Bosnian movie she made. She was sued by someone claiming she stole his script and name. There was backlash from this movie as well. Anything political will get backlash even her speechest get backlash from a certain group. I don’t think anything inhumane was down she just needs to realease a statement and let it die down.

  16. A. Key says:

    Well of course she had to work with the government and the military to make the film, DUH. She’d have been kicked out of the country otherwise since the people in charge are ex-khmer rouge.

    “This film is about the horrors of the Khmer Rouge, yet she is dealing with former Khmer Rouge, and apparently in a noncritical way”

    Why is anyone surprised?

  17. Esmom says:

    I can’t speak to her knowledge of human rights issues but I’m not sure if her film would have been considered less “authentic” if she’d filmed it or parts of it in another location. Especially if it meant she wouldn’t have to pander to the Cambodian army. Filmmakers do that all the time.

    I read somewhere the Beasts of No Nation was very sensitive to the types things that Angelina seemed to deem as acceptable in the name of art (for example, casting a boy who didn’t have experience as a child soldier but instead was an actor, and filming in a country that hadn’t experienced a major war), and I don’t think that took away from its power or acclaim.

  18. Imo says:

    There isn’t really any way to spin this to make Angelina look better

  19. Michelle says:

    I will wait for Angelina’s response. Personally i think the vf interview was a mess from the writer’s point of view. All it is, is a gossip commentary. Where is the context? There are no signs of the actual questions that were asked. In fact, you take out the bad commentary & jolie speaks very little. It’s all very much from the interviewer’s point. I very much call that terrible writing. As for this new story. It seems people are jumping on the bandwagon. Where were these people when filming was going on? Not much good after the fact is it? It’s their duty to know of these things as they are happening. If this is a human rights violation? They could of stopped production. Where is the outrage for them not doing their job?

  20. Kate says:

    Probably the biggest mistake of her whole humanitarian career. After this it’s all people will remember. It doesn’t matter if it was the casting directors who did this – even without her knowlege the fact that she’s prepared to openly relate the story in such a mawkish way for the interview is enough of a responsibility on her shoulders. Had I been in her shoes and discovered afterwards about what the casting directors were up to – I’d have been shaking in my boots and desperately hoping it wouldn’t come out in the press. That she didn’t even think of it as an issue says everything.

    • KB says:

      The article says “the director” is the one that caught the child, but it doesn’t clarify if it was one of the casting directors previously mentioned or the director of the film, which would be Angelina.

      But as you said, the way she tells the story without any indication that she found it problematic is troubling.

    • LadyT says:

      I can’t even fathom the time and effort she’s put into humanitarian work- and then bizarrely unapologetically includes this horror in an interview. She’s obviously an extremely devoted loving mother- and then scoffs at the very thought that her children could need healing because of the divorce. I don’t understand her.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        The interview highlights a disconnect that Jolie seems to have. First, you’ve got the off the cuff story about casting that she cannot see is horrific. Then, as you noted, she is unwilling to acknowledge that her children need to heal from a divorce like all normal children. I think the implication that she is in any way at fault is unacceptable to her. If she and Brad are responsible for their marriage and what led up to the “plane incident” then she has to take responsibility for her part in that. It may be a very small part as small as overlooking Pitt’s behavior for too long. Jolie doesn’t seem very self-reflective, more reactionary. It is strange.

  21. Halle says:

    That is disgusting. You’d be hard pushed to find any child in Cambodia that hasn’t had a harsh life. I hope the film flops big time. She is an egotistical selfish woman!

  22. detritus says:

    She flubbed her PR on this colossally. I honestly can’t recall something so counter brand in a long time (Tiger did for sure but that was ages ago).

    The gentlest spin, which we had a few commenters arguing for yesterday, is that this was very playful with the children, everything was above board. I hold out hope maybe this was what happened. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t explain the Khmer Rouge flashbacks from the villagers.

    In my opinion this is hubris. Angie thought she knew what she was doing, and didn’t check with the appropriate experts.

    You can have the best of intentions, but as your audience and influence increases, so does your responsibility to fully educate yourself and govern yourself accordingly. With any vulnerable population, if you are not an expert – hire one.

    In this case, full disclosure and informed consent from villagers, and someone who specializes in international childrens rights overseeing this would have helped greatly. As described, the casting would not have be acceptable in most countries. It wouldn’t even have been an acceptable psychology experiment.

    And this all stems from Angie’s blindspot, like most middle class feminists from first world countries (myself included on many points), she has at least one. This just fell right into that blindspot. Not excusing her choices in this, but everyone effs up. The more power, the bigger the mess and this is a big mess.

    I’m not willing to write off all of her humanitarian efforts to this date. To call her a bad mother (where did that stuff come from?), or to cancel her. I want to see a legitimate apology and response, and possibly more of an explanation before I make my choice.

    Sometimes the message is not more important than the means.

    • L says:

      @ Detritus: +1 million! The best and fairest response I’ve seen.

    • Erinn says:

      Yes, you hit it out of the park.

      A lot of people were getting so defensive over this. I don’t think the VAST majority of posters were making personal attacks about Angelina, but instead were pointing out how baffling it was that this could happen. If anything, she’s held to a higher standard because of her long time work with humanitarian causes – she should be more aware than the average director of this kind of thing.

      And just because she royally messed this up – doesn’t mean anyone is saying that she’s sitting around twirling a fake mustache and planning a new plot of how to traumatize people. Nobody is saying that she did any of this to be intentionally hurtful or unethical – but just because (especially because) she’s lauded as an amazing humanitarian doesn’t mean that she’s automatically free from legitimate criticism.

      There was such a rush to blame people for just wanting to attack her, or for always being anti-Jolie, or whatever – but SO many of the posters that are pointing out the issues with this movie are HUGE Jolie fans. I think she’s a kickass woman in so many ways… but she’s human. She’s going to make mistakes. Putting her on a pedestal isn’t doing anyone favors, and it’s completely unrealistic. And it’s not automatically jealousy or a need to attack a beautiful accomplished woman. It’s just being realistic. If we were given these quotes and a run down of the controversy with NO name attached to it – I think a lot of the people who are calling everyone haters would be singing a different tune.

      None of it takes away from the good that she’s done. But it should open everyone’s eyes to the fact that even when intentions are good actions can still cause damage. It’s how someone moves on from that and grows that is most important.

      • detritus says:

        I very much agree with you Erinn. She’s a person, not a super hero, not infallible.

        I wonder if some of the seeming unhinged support stems from how well shes done with her brand. That she actually represents more than just a ‘person’ to many people, she faced many issues women face privately, in public. Breast cancer, being judged for being ‘wild’, divorce and possible abuse, the whole gamut of judgements put on women for being women have been placed on Jolie publicly.

        Looking at most of the supporting comments, there were a few themes based on that. What cropped up fairly often was a) frustration at judgement because it felt based on her relationship to brad/jen triangle of doom b) minimizing the impact of her choices based on how theyview their children vs other children and c) lashing out at the villainization of Jolie that previously occured.

        I think in the end, I’m mostly just sad. Sad it came to this, and honestly sad because I feel like she dissapointed me. I expected more.

    • hoopjumper says:

      This is it, exactly. I think she’s a remarkable person, but I think putting her on a pedestal is a mistake. I think the work she has done has positively impacted people over the years, and nothing she does now can change that. But this was an error in judgment that I hope she will own and learn from.

      • detritus says:

        This is the exact thing I hope she does. Takes ownership immediately and takes steps to correct her mistake and make sure it does not happen again.

      • Sixer says:

        I think how she handles it will be important. Because there will be severe pull-back from many in her humanitarian/diplomatic/political circles if she flubs it. I mean, how can she lecture the UN Assembly now? It’s more than a slip-up, what’s happened here. I don’t think keeping quiet and hoping it dies down is an option on that front, as it is with her celebrity reputation. She’s in a bind.

      • detritus says:

        @Sixer, truly, she may have ruined both of her careers. Her response to this is of penultimate importance, and she needs to respond on a celebrity level and on a humanitarian level. Or pick which career she cares most about.

        It even has the possibility to impact her divorce proceeding if a particularly misogynistic judge is pulled.

        Paternalism, charity and effective altruism (to borrow a term from upthread) are hot topics in social justice right now, as well as child labor in developing nations. She just stepped in all of that, in a position that already opens her up to a significant amount of criticism without adding those concerns.

        THe whole thing would be bad enough coming from a normal director, not involved in these issues, but to have this come from a UN representative… its very bad. If her response is not sufficient I suspect she will be asked to vacate her position or penalized. As you said previously, a loose cannon is dangerous.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        Agreed. I’m waiting to see how she handles the situation.

    • Guesting says:

      I’m not after AJ’s blood or career. I don’t want to tear her down but I’m not surprised. It’s just like with everyday people. Some people are super great but they do things very ethically wrong. It’s an aspect of them that is their blind spot. If you were to confront them with evidence they would NOT capitulate. This is her and her fans blind spot. She has done so much good and has such an ‘image’ that people are having a hard time calling these actions what they are. Sever ethical violations and exploitations of the ones she claims she wants to champion.
      She basically wanted a documentary and instead of doing an actual one she set up a movie where the ones in charge of the filming became part of the real life story and manipulated it to get the emotions filmed.
      So many people are soft shoeing this.
      She did NOT have to make this movie. She did NOT have to make this movie in this country. She did NOT have to use these children. She did NOT have to employ that army. She could have made a blasted animated film that showed everything and then donated money to the community or she could have filmed it in a different location with ACTORS that didn’t need to be manipulated but knew how to do their jobs to tell the story.

      Also, I side eye little caveats about how she didn’t seem to consult experts. Look, no one needs to be an expert to spot the exploitation of the ‘auditioning’ children a mile away. Also even the ignorant average person just needs a tad bit of the local history to understand that the rest of the decisions where unethical.

      Ignorance of the ethics in this situation doesn’t pardon her in my eyes.

  23. Willow says:

    Stop worshipping celebrities. Then you won’t get your feels hurt or go into defensive mode over someone you don’t even know when they do bad or stupid things. If they do good works, great, but all the scraping, bowing and yaasss queen/king nonsense is juvenile and embarrassing outside of a teenager.

  24. JustStahhhpp says:

    Can we please stop pretending that her faux-humanitarianism is anything but more attention for her??? Detestable human crap. Stop justifying her behavior, you look like an idiot.

  25. PPP says:

    This is getting worse and worse. I wrote in yesterday. I worked in Cambodia for years. Here is the story of Hun Sen and the U.N., from a Cambodian perspective:

    Hun Sen drove the Khmer Rouge out of power, but he was an oppressive figure from the beginning. The U.N. came in to force a vote– the main opponent was F.U.N.C.I.N.P.E.C., comprised of a blend of people– monks, peasants, the few intellectuals that survived, and former members of the Khmer Rouge. This last element represents the gray of Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge began as a organization trying to get King Sihanouk back in the country. He was a hero king that had led his country to independence, but the U.S., during the sideshow war years, exiled him and replaced him with Long Nol, who went around oppressing people, sending his people on raids that often involved rape– and this is while villages on the border of a neutral country are getting bombed by us. So the Khmer Rouge was originally a popular movement with a good cause– it got turned around by Pol Pot. So people are willing to forgive Khmer Rouge members. If they had left their entire extended family would be killed, as was policy.

    Aaaanyways, back to the U.N. election. The nations send in their peacekeepers, and people to implement the democratic process. They are paid ridiculously well. Ridiculously by Western standards, they lived like kings in Cambodia. Some of the countries decided to make deals with prisoners that if they served and diverted the bulk of their salaries to the gov’ts, they’d get pardons. So you send a bunch of well-paid criminals into a country where literally everyone had been displaced from their original land, and there is no record of land ownership, and 2/7ths of the population had been killed. One of the few good results of the Khmer Rouge, which fell in 1979, is that the closed borders and political upheaval prevented AIDS from taking hold in the early 80′s. As I said in another post yesterday, when you send well-paid men into a place that isn’t their home, and the population is disenfranchised, terrible things happen to women. I worked as an educator and for a sex trafficking organization. Pipelines for trafficked women open up everywhere UN peacekeepers or the US military goes. The country is now ravaged with AIDS, prostitution, and sex trafficking. Yay, democracy?

    So Cambodia votes HARD. They believed in democracy. They believed what they were told. F.U.N.C.I.N.P.E.C. wins. Let me repeat: F.U.N.C.I.N.P.E.C. wins. Hun Sen rolls into Phnom Penh with tanks, and those peacekeepers that are there to deal with exactly this situation? They leave. Thanks for the AIDS, bye. The UN brokers a deal so that Hun Sen and FUNCINPEC are co-heads of state. Within a year Hun Sen drives them out. The UN, to this day, holds this bullshit up as a shining example of their democracy.

    Meanwhile, here’s what democracy has looked like in Cambodia: people known to support FUNCINPEC and Sam Rainsey are reported on by village leaders. They disappear. Journalists disappear. I dated a journalist who was driven from the trade to become a guide. I remember vividly hearing about this from him in the middle of the goddamn jungle and he’s turning around to see if anyone could be listening.

    This is who Jolie is working with. Things are better now in that voters aren’t killed; their votes disappear instead. Because of the land situation, people mostly just settled and don’t outright own titled land. Hun Sen regularly displaces people off the land when he wants to build a mall or whatever. I helped relocate one such family during a land grab. The road from Siem Reap to Battambang is unpaved because his brother owns an airport. It is a truly horrific bus ride. I think it was rated one of the worst roads in the world. Most of the infrastructure is provided by missionaries and foreign organization. The education, help for the poor, medical care. I was one of these people. I left because I think we shouldn’t be there. If we weren’t there, the Khmer people would overthrow Hun Sen, but we keep things tolerable enough that the people don’t overthrow him.

    This is who Jolie worked with.
    This is who Jolie worked with.
    This is who Jolie worked with.

    I feel guilty for my part in perpetuating this awful man’s reign. Yesterday I defended Jolie, mainly because my friend’s mom really benefitted from her tip and she seemed to understand how to go around the country. I don’t know if I can respect her work in the country any more. This isn’t right. What is she giving back to the country? Like I said, she could be funding those orphan’s educations. By orphan I mean poor person. You often end up in an orphanage if your parents can’t afford to take care of you. The directors of the orphanages often invite foreign tourists and pocket the donations for themselves and their families. I worked at an exception. The director and his wife had no children and looked at those children as their own. They ran a village school and we opened a library. I financed that with a couple thousand dollars. It would really take so little money to provide an education for those kids. And what’s gonna happen to Srey? Will Angelina abandon her once the movie run is over? Will it be Slumdog Millionaire again, only worse because she should damn well know better? My eye is ON THIS.

    • detritus says:

      Thank you for sharing this.

    • Miss S says:

      Thank you for all of this info. I had no idea. I actually was under the impression that Cambodia was much better bc I assumed Angelina wouldn’t get involved otherwise. And when a famous person does something superficially perceived as good in complex contexts, it seems bad taste and rude to question it, “at least she is doing something” is the line.

      I don’t want to drag Brad Pitt into this but I remember an old interview from a few years ago where he pretty much recognized that helping poor countries thinking you r actually going to solve matters is an illusion and that he knew better today. It was almost the recognition of the white savior/hero complex dynamic. It also reminds when people imagine what they would do for others if they won the lottery because they have this illusion that throwing money at problems will make everything better, totally ignoring the many other problems that can bring.

      Meaning well, assuming is the case is not enough.

      • PPP says:

        Yes, exactly, and that’s the lesson I learned as well. Honestly I regret my time in the country, much as I loved my kids, and much as I learned. I should have been doing work in my own country, not a country I don’t understand. I don’t know that I truly helped anyone. I was teaching trafficking victims English and French in the hopes they’s get passports, but it’s incredibly difficult for a Khmer person to get one. I never saw that those girls got one.

        I should have been in Skid Row, and so should these celebrities galavanting all over the world. We have so much to fix. Cancer alley in Louisiana, where some of the worst industrial pollution in the world is foisted on poor communities, the XL pipeline, domestic abuse, mental health care, our OWN sex trafficking problem, a huge homeless population. If celebrities focused the full force of their platform and power on their own country we would be in such a better place.

        I should also say my experiences seeing the fall-out from the UN intervention is why I majorly side-eye that organization. Especially the trafficking pipelines it leaves in its wake.

      • Miss S says:

        @PPP, Your answer really describes well my discomfort with the issues with charity/generosity in general. Altruism shouldn’t be about how good it makes us feel, but how effective our help is. Often we mean well and end hurting people. This is really difficult to grasp.

        I share here some info about effective altruism that really helped me to look at this matters differently hoping we can all do more, but better:
        https://www.effectivealtruism.org/
        http://globalprioritiesproject.org/ (+flowshart of how to help the world: http://globalprioritiesproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Flowchart-medium.jpg)
        http://www.givewell.org/

      • PPP says:

        Haha, I am now in a PhD program for philosophy, quite aware of effective altruism! And yeah, I know now that I did what I did for my own sake, out of American guilt. I was born the year the Khmer Rouge fell and I felt guilty for what my country did, so I thought I had a duty to help with the fall-out. Barely made a dent.

        Also, my failure to understand the country made my work ineffective. There’s a one-day-ahead mentality in Cambodia due to the Khmer Rouge. They know it can all fall apart in a second so there’s no point really planning ahead, and you had better be out for yourself. So like when I was relocating the families from the land grab, one of the families took off in the night with the building materials for the houses and all of the animals I’d provided. Got more materials, more animals. They had chickens so they’d have a fresh supply of eggs– those chickens were dead in a week, eaten up. They assumed since I was a Westerner that I was an unending source of charity. They were going from a place where they relied on their neighbors for charity to a place where they knew no one, so they leaned on me, and I didn’t know how to make connections for them to replace me. I set their kids up at the village school but the kids ended up working to take care of their families instead. I just didn’t know what I was doing.

      • Sixer says:

        Thank you for this valuable input, PPP.

      • Miss S says:

        I actually found about it because of Angelina Jolie LOL
        This idea that celebs who “do good” should not be scrutinized or that foundations who “do good” should also be protected really got under my skin. I couldn’t accept that it wasn’t possible to choose the right battles and “fight” in a more effective way that actually helped people, instead of just donating money (or with famous people, the easy “bring awareness” argument) so we feel better (and promote ourselves). I looked into it and found Peter Singer’s talks and book and started to open my mind about looking at this differently.

        I also felt overwhelmed because it seems that when you chose a cause to support people will accuse of not caring about anything else or question your priorities. This happens a lot with people who are really into animals getting the heat for not caring about people. That flowchart from global priorities really helped to let go of that. But I feel that in general there should be more critical thinking about it because often things are not what they look at the surface just like your experience shows and it hurts to mean well and still mess up:/

    • Jayna says:

      I also thank you for sharing this.

    • Asiyah says:

      Thank you, PPP. Very informative.

    • magnoliarose says:

      Thank you. What you are saying is what many Africans have been saying about Bono and the Clintons. Giving makes things worse because it suppresses the local economy. We should be support for the Africans to direct how to help their own countries. They need practical things and jobs not feel good bags of grain. They need a field to grow the grain, a market to sell their grain, people to pack and harvest and it creates other markets and jobs. I think it is honorable that you tried and even more so that you realized how problematic it was.

      • PPP says:

        Yes, this is exactly how I feel about Bono in particular.

      • Lauren says:

        Thank you for dating this Mangoliarose. I was going to comment something similar yesterday but decided it was against better judgement. I really have enjoyed both your and PPP’s comments in this thread.

        But anyways this whole thing with white supremacy and humanitarian work is something I have always noticed but maybe only on a superficial level. Recently I attended an event for Syrian women refugees where my friend who works closely with said population was a guest speaker. The audience for the event was predominantly white women.

        My friend who is Pakistani Muslim pointed out in her speech that we were discussing how to help Syrian women and yet no one thought to invite a woman who was Syrian to speak on how best to help.

        The audience did not like this. In fact many solutions to helo syrian women involved them becoming western. These women took it as a scolding and tried to become the victims of the situation but it is the truth.

        The reason why no Syrian women were invited to speak is because the Western mentality is that we know that they need more than they do. We assume we are superior in all areas and that the solution is for other cultures and countries and people to replicate. The more they replicate the more they will be deemed worthy the more ‘help they will get.

        My father always used to tell me growing up “When the white man came to Africa he had the bible and the African had the land. When the white man left he had the land and the African the bible.” Now my dad is not African but he is black and from a country that was once rich with gold and when the British left they took all the gold and left all the missionaries to better the so called wretched. The only way he got anywhere was through the system was replication. There was no white man who ever asked the descendants of slaves, indentured servants, or the Amerindian what they needed. They assumed they knew what was best for all three groups. It is the paternalistic nature of white supremacy and the legacy of colonialism.

        I have never cared much for Jolie and although I respect her efforts it never fails to amaze me the accolades one will get for being rich, attractive and white in her field of work. I have met so many who are not white trying to be the voices for their peoples and countries and the sad fact is that their voices are ignored. The system ensures their experiences only gain humanity and legitimacy when backed by a white voice.

        I saw this first hand with how my friend was treated.

      • PPP says:

        @ Lauren

        “The reason why no Syrian women were invited to speak is because the Western mentality is that we know that they need more than they do.”

        Yes, exactly, and thank you for bringing up the racial element. I am white and although I am aware of the white savior complex I guess I thought I could somehow overcome it. I was wrong. I cannot extricate myself from the racial dynamics of the system. I benefitted from white privelege enormously while in Asia. I look exactly how Asians want white women to look: petite, pale, blonde haired and blue eyed. As a result I got any job I wanted teaching English.

        I worked at three schools and through one organization in Cambodia: a Western school that paid me $8/hr, Angkor University which paid me $10 an hour, and the orphanage on a volunteer basis, and with a sex trafficking organization on a volunteer basis. Philipinna teachers, who had teaching certificates (I had a TEFL certificate– not the same thing) were paid $4 an hour. Khmer teachers made $2 an hour. There was one African guy there, he made $2 an hour and he was clearly alienated from everyone because I’m sorry but Asians can be racist as well. I put most of the money into paying tuition for a few of the orphans to go to the Western school, but I lived off it too. When the Khmer people realized I was staying there and not moving they offered me Khmer prices for things.

        If I talk about this people praise me and even when I go into it like this, how it was easy for me to do, how I really benefitted more than the people I was supposedly helping, how I didn’t really help, it just comes off as humility and I get more praise.

        The other day someone mentioned something about how Trump made some $500,000 donation to a hospital that had been deprived of millions due to his legislation. That is, I think, emblematic of white charity. America DESTROYED Cambodia. It was doing well! They’d liberated themselves from French rule and had a vibrant culture. The music, oh my God the music right before the fall– there’s an amazing documentary called Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWUClhqQkVo .

        And we killed it. We took their King and replaced him with a dictator and that blood is on our hands.

        Then dumb little white me goes and performs the equivalent of Trump’s 500,000 donation.

        If white people want to help, we’d do better focusing on holding our white governments accountable. And our fellow white people. I cut my grandfather off for being racist and people are shocked at this. White people sit there with their mouths shut on Thanksgiving while racist Uncle Bob goes on and on about Trump, and complain about the discomfort. Why don’t WE make Thanksgiving uncomfortable for our racist white families? Why don’t WE hold our friends and families accountable?

        JK Rowling was right. It’s not that the choice is between right and wrong. It’s between right and easy.

        And that’s exactly why we have a duty to hold Angelina Jolie accountable. I don’t think she’s a bad person, but I think she’s like I was– she thinks she can be an exception to the white savior complex and operates as though she’s not integrated into a system that privileges whiteness, wealth, and beauty.

      • detritus says:

        @ Lauren, this is a ridiculously common problem. Many agencies are smartening up, but I think a lot of the peripheral players still have issues.

        I appreciate what you and MagRose and PPP have said about this issue, I think the white saviour complex is really at the root of what happened here.

      • Aren says:

        This is so true. Most of the time, it’s enough if foreign governments and companies don’t exploit our natural resources, if they don’t pollute our local environment, if they don’t bribe our corrupt politicians, if they don’t exploit workers, and if they don’t sexually abuse our children and teenagers.
        Charity and pity is the last thing we need.

      • bluhare says:

        I have a friend who emailed me on this very topic. It wasn’t what we’re talking about here, but the impact global giving has on communities and how it can wreck local economies. I had no idea.

      • magnoliarose says:

        Thank you, Lauren and PP for your thoughtful posts. It is an issue I have been thinking about lately. The Syrian situation is common unfortunately. It is as if they think that people in need should be grateful whatever the savior decides and not exactly what they need.
        It is an interesting and humbling subject. It turns everything about charity and humanitarian work we have learned to believe upside down. The documentary Poverty Inc. touches upon this very subject.

  26. Noelle says:

    What I get from the comments above is that Jolie is a vile vile women, everything she has ever done had been for herself, she knows nothing about any of the causes she espouses, is a fake and basically had no redeeming features? Is this correct? Anything I missed out?

  27. annier says:

    “or should she just accept that people are going to climb up her ass over everything” lmao nobody ever climbs up her ass about anything! she literally gets all the passes in the world!

  28. Jessica says:

    Amazed at how forgiving the author is to Angelina. Again if Charlize Theron or Sandra Bullock were doing something like this in South Africa or New Orleans (ok that’s not a good analogy) they’d be ripped to shreds. Be consistent.

    • Jeesie says:

      Jolie’s always gotten passes for things that would have followed any other actresses around like a dark cloud forever.

      I mean, she did literal blackface in a film and everyone just brushed it aside completely! I’m just pleased this story is actually getting a little traction.

      • Jessica says:

        I know right! Isn’t it great too that her racist father is spending so much time with his grandkids after his antics over the years. Don’t see anyone criticizing her for that when people were ripping Sandra Bullock to shreds because her EX husband from 7 years ago (that she doesn’t speak to) is a Trump supporter.

      • Cirien says:

        Marianne Pearl- yeah people tend to brush over that because it was a true story and Marianne approved of the casting, but surely Ben Affleck should be given a pass because the man he played in “Argo” is Latino? (Spoiler: he hasn’t been) – and it’s the second time she’s taken a whitewashed role? (Fox in Wanted was supposed to look like Halle Berry). Like don’t get me wrong Angelina has done a lot of good, but she’s also problematic in a lot of ways ( Maleficent was *ugh*) I was always #TeamAngie but the author takes it to a whole other level. And frankly these kind of fawning editorial are probably part of the reason this has come out *now*. Because Angie knows ( or least her PR team are aware) that there will be people who will rabidly defend her no matter what

      • Otaku fairy says:

        People don’t get to choose their parents, but people do get to choose their spouses.

  29. Freddy Spaghetti says:

    I was so saddened and outraged over the casting story, and now this, with Human Rights Watch? I didn’t know that the Cambodian government was so bad. How could Jolie, who supposedly has been there so often, not?

    I just…I admired her, thought she was a person who understood suffering. Now I don’t think she does.

  30. Saskia says:

    Regarding the Defenders – If a fan truly cares about AJ then he/she would not turn a blind eye to this serious issue, instead the fan would want her to admit the error and not make the same type of mistake again (learn from it). We are not talking about 13 yr old fandom but adult admiration and appreciation that are now being challenged.

  31. I am bored says:

    Yeah, how dare she. She should over throw the government and army right this second and never try to tell this countries story until she fires them all. What a fing joke.

    On the other note she’s not the one that told the casting directors story. You’re putting blame on Angelina once again. Just like y’all did when Brad abused the kids. that was Angelina fault too. Like I said a fucking joke and just another way to try to drag her.

    This is just like what happened with her in the land of blood and honey movie.

    Sometimes I think she should say 🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼 Hollywood and the fans too. Let you guys be stuck with the lily white boring people like her ex husband. Lmao

    • Artemis says:

      Sis like…Jolie is a natural blonde white woman with light eyes

      • I am bored says:

        Lmao whaaaat? She’s a white lady and? Are you trying to make the point that she shouldn’t tell this Cambodians story because she’s white and has light eyes ? If so she kind of seems to know people think that way and probably why she had rithy panh and luong ung onset helping her tell their story.

        #Confused

      • Jessica says:

        @I am bored

        “Let you guys be stuck with the lily white boring people like her ex husband”

        You say this like Angelina isn’t lily white herself?

      • I am bored says:

        Thank you Jessica for pointing that out to me. I was like what is Artemis talking about. Derr. Yeah I wasn’t really saying lily white like the color of their skin. I meant boring person, no edge.

      • Artemis says:

        @ I am bored

        See what @Jessica said.

        Furthermore, Jolie will never quit Hollywood. Despite her VF profile, the accompanying pictures are as usual playing up her oldschool beauty and glamour which a dying class in Hollywood. She can laugh as much as she wants at he notion of being found sexy, at the end of the day she knows her beauty sells which is why her shots are sexy and not ‘I’m struggling as a mother of 6 kids and a failed marriage’. As if.

        If she were to quit Hollywood these threads will be empty bar the few remaining stans who buy 6 tickets of a total of 10 for the movies she directs as her personal life will always be a draw and her careers the thing fans pretend to care about (eg if Jolie would look like Merkel, there would be no putting Jolie on a pedestal for her political work, end of).

    • Honey says:

      Would you be bored if you don’t have to defend Jolie for the bad choice she made?

      What happened was not a fucking joke. None of it was. Be serious

      • I am bored says:

        What bad choice did she make? Obviously I don’t think she made a bad choice . The casting director made a choice and I still don’t think it was a bad one. This movie is called at first they KILLED my father. What do you think this movie is about? Disney land?

        But yeah I’m bored and that’s why I’m wasting my time here.

    • Asiyah says:

      You’re so obtuse and reductive, I am bored.

    • magnoliarose says:

      Has anyone ever done a psychological study on people who over identify with celebrities? It is fascinating. What makes a person behave so absurdly over an image of a person they don’t know. They even create stories about what they think and do. Do they have scrapbooks and celebrate their birthdays? I mean with cakes and gifts. How far does this imaginary friendship extend?

      • Noelle says:

        Even more interesting would be an analysis of people who obssess over celebrities in a negative fashion. What goes on in the minds of posters on female first and dare I say quite a few of the commentators on this thread would be fascinating.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I have never been to female first. This is the only celebrity site I visit. I am sure you brought it up for a reason but I don’t get the connection.
        I haven’t seen any obsessive criticism of her in a long time. Everyone has mostly moved on from the triangle and some of us didn’t care that much about it in the first place. This story is very disturbing and it has led to other questions about her humanitarian work. That is how life works. No one is above reproach or criticism. She is not special or better than anyone else. Which is why I find slavish devotion strange. The only other group I see behave this blindly are Trump’s followers. Every criticism is exaggerated and then embellished with delusions that the critic cares as much as fan does. I know I don’t. I don’t even like most of her movies but I never disliked her. I have a huge problem with exploiting suffering for something as nonessential as a film. I have a huge problem with a privileged person involving themselves in something they don’t understand.
        I highly doubt her detractors care nearly as much as her worshipers do.

      • Sage says:

        The time and emotion spent on someone they intensely hate is fascinating. All that negative emotion over an actress?! I get the hate for Trump, but an actress?!?!

      • clicking says:

        the problem is, Sage, that AJ considers herself to be a humanitarian and she is an UN AMBASSADOR. so no, the “just an actress” argument doesn’t fly

  32. No Dignity in that says:

    That is disgusting. Jolie dives into corruption to make her movie and get the actors she needs?
    If Jolie uses state soldiers as actors in her movie she should pay the state for these soldiers. Because if she doesn’t then it is basically the Cambodian taxpayer who funds Jolie’s soldier actors. And Cambodia isn’t exactly that rich to afford that.
    Or does the US-American taxpayer fund actors for Hollywood movies by government order? I believe that Hollywood filmmakers have to pay if they want to employ soldiers / army equipment.

  33. I am bored says:

    More baseless (fake) anger. You go to Cambodia and pay them since you care so much.

    Angelina does a lot for the country and that’s why she was awarded citizenship. Yeah she didn’t pay them and made them work for food.

    🙄🙄🙄🙄

    • detritus says:

      deepest of sighs.

      you keep saying this:
      “You go to Cambodia and pay them since you care so much”

      Firstly, give me the resources Angie has, and I’ll go today. Give me the connections she has and I would produce more change, because guess what, thats what my education is in and I know when I’m out of my depth and when to call in the experts. I can’t act for shit and if forced to direct produce a movie that would be incoherent, but I know my strengths and my weaknesses.

      Part of that education is realizing grass roots movements to support communities are much more effective than some white saviour coming in with cash to solve all the problems. Without proper consult and control these communities are not served properly. AJ went in paternalistically, assuming she knew best and that is a recipe for disaster.

      I wouldn’t be directing a movie on such a sensitive subject without a ton of advice. I wouldn’t be involving vulnerable children without a ton of advice. And I definitely wouldn’t be sharing how their pain makes my movie stronger artistically.

      You can help one child while damaging others. You can create lasting harm with ignorance or carelessness.

      secondly, accolades do not mean they are immune from criticism. The man who invented lobotomies was given accolades. The men who performed live vivisections in Victorian times were given accolades. Hell, the president of the United States is a barely intelligible travesty. Positions and awards mean you play the political game, not that you have value.

      Finally, money is not the answer, and this is not just about the money. There is a large discussion and debate at the lasting impact of financial injections into impoverished countries. Most experts now think that it is detrimental to just provide financial aid, that aid needs to be targetted, and needs to be community drive.

      Using the production money to create a film school in Cambodia. To provide infrastructure improvements or means to create income, those are significanlty more useful to these communities than sharing their story with Netflix viewers who will shed a tear and move on.

      If she lacks the introspection to realize she may not be the best person for the job, she should not be participating in these activities on such a large scale.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I am bored, you really demean yourself with these comments.

    • detritus says:

      i am bored, You are seriously trying my patience with these nonsense arguments. If you’d like to continue the debate, try again, but with more logic and less emotion.

      This seems to go over your head, but I will reiterate, you can care and still cause harm with ignorance. In fact whats the idiom… oh yes, ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’. Good intentions are as useful as a fart in the wind, and matter about as much if the end result is not what is necessary.

      Please go read PPPs comments on effective altruism and the fallacy of first world saviors. Or really, do any form of research on humanitarian efforts. If you put the smallest portion of effort into understanding social justice on an international scale as you do your vehement responses defending Jolie’s right to f*ck up whatever she wants while ‘saving’ people from themselves, well, you’d have more respect and positive responses than you do now.

      Finally, I do not need to live a life of poverty to have valid thoughts on charity and outreach, and while I volunteer and donate my time and money, my bonafides do not qualify or disqualify me from criticizing humanitarian efforts. There is no level of donation required for that.

  34. perplexed says:

    Human Rights Watch has credibility. I don’t think one can dismiss what they have to say.

    • karen says:

      Nobody dismissed what the HRW guy said, but most of not all, fail to recognize that even he is aware he’s commenting and being critical of a situation where he doesn’t have all of the facts and may not even be true.

      He said, ‘IF this is true or correct..’

      The question is, why are people dismissing that very important caveat.

      • I am bored says:

        Liar. She has one sentence about how the child cried because her grandfather died and they didn’t have money for the funeral. No bragging,

        But let me know when Brad can have normal visitation let alone custody. Bloop

      • BearcatLawyer says:

        He said “if” because he did not personally witness the filming and probably had not read the VF article when he was asked about it. He is not stupid. He is not going to make unfounded accusations against either the government of Cambodia or Angelina Jolie in a public statement.

        Magazines have fact checkers and lawyers. There is NO WAY these details made it into this story without being heavily vetted. VF would not take that kind of chance with a piece on Angelina Jolie.

  35. HoustonGrl says:

    This situation demonstrates the challenges of working in a country where the infrastructure is inherently flawed and, unfortunately, that infrastructure still serves as the jumping off point for any good work that is done. It’s a catch-22.

    • Shijel says:

      The answer to it would be “then don’t film in Cambodia”. Don’t use the soldiers of an oppressive regime to portray Khmer Rouge in your film. Don’t play cruel games with young kids. In this chase for ‘authenticity’, people were harmed, and the rich people who are responsible for this movie are going to be able to go home and keep on living in tremendous comfort while those harmed do not have that privilege.

      This story can be told without doing any of this. Cambodia can be helped in other ways, I doubt one mediocre movie (I have no reason to believe that this film is going to be the end of a string of incredibly mediocre films by the director) is going to do much for Cambodia.

  36. Lalala says:

    Please, trying to claim that people would pick on her for being ‘inauthentic’ for not shooting certain scenes in Cambodia is a terrible defence. If she was called out for it, all she would have to say is ‘well, the alternative was shooting in Cambodia and genuinely distressing the people there who actually lived through this, so we chose a more ethical alternative’ and she would probably have been praised for her choice. It’s certainly more in line with her humanitarian image to put the welfare of people before something as comparitively insignificant as a Netflix movie, especially if it truly is meant to be something carthartic for the Cambodian people (and not an awards grab, as I suspect is closer to the truth).

    I’m disturbed by some of the comments about being disappointed in her lack of media-savvy for this interview. It’s not as simple as she didn’t consider her PR, it’s disturbing that she does these things in the first place, and that she considers it acceptable to hurt people for the sake of filmmaking (she seems to think these stories of trauma are a positive, like capturing actual pain is the marker of great art and not showing an appalling lack of ethics). The most concerning part is how readily she told the reporter about innocent bystanders falling to their knees and wailing when they saw what they believed to be the Khmer Rouge returning, like she was proud of the realism of them ‘returning’ rather than mortified that these actual people were left traumatised. It’s the same as her tearing up while telling the story of the girl they cast and her wanting the money from the ‘game’ to bury her grandfather – she sees no issue with intentionally seeking out orphaned, impoverished and unprivileged kids who have experienced hardship, none of whom are actors or trained in roleplay, who are then told they need to convincingly lie about why they deserve money or it will be taken away – she told that story like it was a clever idea they’d come up with to find the most authentic suffering.

    I mentioned on a previous post that she had told the story of having to cast her own daughter in Maleficent as she was the only child not scared of Angelina in costume – if she really believed that American children, who have had some exposure to acting and make-believe, were too upset by a Disney costume that they couldn’t separate fantasy from reality and were genuinely scared, how can she possibly believe such a cruel ‘game’ was appropriate for 5/6 year old girls who have been through more hardship in their short years than most western adults?

    I understand that sometimes you have to tolerate some bad to do some good, and I can understand having to at least be polite to Hun Sen in order to gain access to the country and do good works there. However, she couldn’t possibly be unaware of his history, and that of the military. It’s like putting actual Nazis in your Holocaust movie alongside real Jewish survivors and then claiming it was ‘in the exodus of the people they had lost’ and it ‘completed something for them’. It’s just not good enough, not from someone who claims to be a humanitarian. Worst of all, if this film is much like her last ones, it won’t even be very good and all that pain will have been to produce something mediocre at best.

    • Tulip Garden says:

      THIS ^^^^^
      This post covers it all. Thank you.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      ^^^THIS!

      “trying to claim that people would pick on her for being ‘inauthentic’ for not shooting certain scenes in Cambodia is a terrible defence.”

      Exactly. Beasts of No Nation was about similarly sensitive subject matter, and they handled it so much better. NO ONE called that film inauthentic.

    • Erica_V says:

      “she seems to think these stories of trauma are a positive, like capturing actual pain is the marker of great art and not showing an appalling lack of ethics”

      Hum I hadn’t thought about that – in Hollywood being a “Method” actor is highly praised. I wonder if when she recounted this story she was thinking of how it might make her seem like a great director – to be able to pull real emotion from her actors – & not thinking about how these children are not Hollywood kids that would not understand such a “method”.

      • Lalala says:

        Erica, I think you’re right – she thought this story would be taken as her trying to find the child with the deepest connection to the character, and using the ‘method acting’ route to do so.
        She forgets that the method acting that is often highly praised is done by adults, not five year old orphans, for whom it’s not method acting at all – it’s their real life experience and pain she’s attempting to use for the sake of entertainment. Even if she attempted to justify it by saying the lead girl wasn’t traumatised long-term and her life will be improved by the salary and exposure she’ll get from this movie, what about the other children she played this ‘game’ with?

        For everyone trying to claim the kids would have understood this was an audition process and separated the game from reality, you’re still overlooking that she deliberately searched for kids with tragic backgrounds to mine them for pain. Even if they understood it was an audition, how awful is it to get the hopes of an orphan up that their life might be changed by this movie star, only to be rejected (perhaps not for their first time in their life) and left in the same situation they were in, feeling like they weren’t good enough to be chosen? These are kids from hard backgrounds, to do this is cruel any way you look at it. This was a poor decision and someone should have been more focused on the wellbeing of the kids than they were on making the most ‘authentic’ movie, and nobody was.

        This isn’t speculation either, this was all information she shared with Vanity Fair. Some are direct quotes. She was obviously trying to demonstrate how respected she in in Cambodia by sharing the involvement of the military / government, as most filmmakers wouldn’t be so positively received, but again she’s let her pride and ego get in the way of some serious ethical violations.

        Actors are called actors for a reason, because their job is to ACT. You don’t need to ensure your cast is suffering in some way to make a great movie, good directors can usually pull a terrific performance out of their actors. I think the major problem here is that Angelina is not a particularly good director, so she focuses on trying to move the audience with extended scenes of real sadness that don’t really advance the plot rather than telling a compelling and cohesive story.

      • magnoliarose says:

        One of the things some people don’t understand about Method acting is that is often mentally draining for adults depending on the material. It has caused relationship problems and personal problems for professional actors. It is not something to embark upon lightly.
        I agree that she thought this was edgy and authentic. She thinks it is the thing a serious filmmaker would do. Basically exploiting trauma for a nonessential movie has nothing to do with art.
        Usually I don’t equate the Holocaust with other tragedies to avoid trivializing or comparing something that isn’t measurable. And the Holocaust has a personal meaning for me so it is dicey to talk about it. But this bothers me so much I will.
        I had a relative who survived one of the infamous cruelest camps during the war. Her suffering left lifelong scars because of staggering loss and suffering that is difficult to think about.
        There are other survivors in my family but no one like her. Her grief was always there, and she would clench her fists so tight out of the blue like she was pausing. It confused me as a kid. She had little quirks and took a lot of naps, and we had to be quiet at her house. I didn’t know about her past so it was another thing I didn’t understand. She used sit in a chair by the front window for hours so many of our visits took place in that room. There was always a mystery about her that I just didn’t understand. No one would tell me anything.
        She decided to confront her pain and past as a way to heal and took a trip to visit her old neighborhood and then the camp. Her husband (met in America), children and other family members tried to talk her out of it, but she was determined. It was a disaster, and she had a complete mental breakdown.
        Later after she died I was told the reason she sat at the window was that she was convinced one day a missing family member would find her. Every single day she thought that day someone would come. Of course no one ever did.

        Behind those exploited Cambodians are lives filled with pain and suffering most likely grief that never leaves them. What they endured was evil and brutal. Imagine someone who witnessed the butchery of loved ones and unspeakable violence all of a sudden seeing soldiers appearing like a night terror out of nowhere. What was the aftermath of that for them? How many days did it take to get back to a tolerable equilibrium again?
        She boiled it down to an anecdote in a magazine to promote a film for our consumption. We are supposed to brush that aside because there was a therapist on set. How out of touch is that. What kind of super therapy could help them I wonder. That is dismissive and a way to excuse behavior that someone realized might traumatize people. They aren’t props or ambiance that should be used in such a cavalier way.
        To even associate with that regime is inexcusable, but she loves it there and feels compelled to tell a story no white privileged lady from America can even begin to understand. How arrogant is that. This is beyond an ethical problem.
        Proudly saying you searched high and low for the most pathetic broken children for the film is just more than I can articulate. So what did the others that weren’t chosen feel? What was the criteria? So after filming they went back to misery like a shelter pet no one wants anymore.
        Her belief in her abilities is far beyond her actual talent or else she wouldn’t have to stoop to cruel stunts to make a film feel authentic.

      • detritus says:

        that is a powerfully sad story magnolia. thank you for sharing this and your perspective throughout this thread.

    • IsThisReal? says:

      I really like Angie, BUT, to put someone through PTSD AGAIN, and CHILDREN!!!!
      omg, I have PTSD. I cannot even imagine the harm she did. NOthing, NOTHING, will ever take the fear away from those kids that she caused. Not all the hugs in the world.

      If Angie did in fact traumatize those kids for a movie, that is unspeakable, indefensible crap.
      She could have broken a bone and created less harm. I am beyond angry.

      • Lalala says:

        The saddest part is the kids she put through this don’t have people to give them hugs or reassure them. They’re children from orphanages, circuses and slums. Their present day life is bad enough without being made to justify why they shouldn’t have money taken away from them, ‘game’ or not.

        This is in no way therapeutic to these children, as some posters have suggested. The purpose of the game was to avoid having much-needed money taken off you by coming up with a reason why you deserve it, at five or six years old. If you do well enough, you get to be in a movie, but if you don’t, it’s back to your orphanage or slum, or back to work with the circus. There’s no way to spin this to make it a good experience for these kids.

        Then to allow innocent bystanders to believe the Khmer Rouge was coming back, when it’s said that literally every family in Cambodia has been affected by their brutality, is icing on the cake of morally dubious behaviour. These people aren’t actors, crew members or associated with the making of the film who might have some reasonable expectation of being pushed for an emotional reaction (or expect compensation for any pain they may have been caused).

        To let people be traumatised or endure anguish for the sake of a movie is so irresponsible. It’s suprising and disappointing from someone who should know better and has seen first hand what these people have been through. It’s incredibly selfish and heartless to put the authenticity of your movie above the wellbeing of actual people, especially children!

    • Josephina says:

      You have made so MANY assumptions, like many of the posters here today.

      Most of these comments remind me when women hear about bed bugs in one hotel room. The word gets out, and then before you know it, the women will carry Lysol from then on to every hotel they will stay for future stays at ANY hotel, Not only that, the women will inform every human being they know about their “horror” and every time the story is retold , someone adds a little something to it for extra zeal. The hotel chain loses business, any online review will swept away with severe warnings to stay away from the ENTIRE hotel chain. Next thing you know the General Manager is fired for negligence, the ocal hotel is on the local news about unsanitary practices, and there will be some woman eager to accept an interview about her family stayed on the same floor at the other end of the hall and how terrified they were.

      • magnoliarose says:

        That makes no sense Josephine. One has nothing to do with the other. You are conflating the issue. Everyone brings their own experiences and histories to a conversation and each person connects to an article or person in their own way. Some people don’t like her and that is their right. She has always been provocative and controversial. Why personalize someone else’s POV? Your opinion is not more important than anyone else’s on this thread. You aren’t more insightful or pragmatic in your opinions. It doesn’t make sense to attack people who aren’t even addressing you personally. It is like you think you can bully people by patronizing them to score some points with Angelina who couldn’t care less about you or any of us. Why get all twisted on a gossip site about a stranger? There are much larger issues in the world right now that effect our lives in tangible ways, she isn’t one of them.

      • Lalala says:

        No one is making any assumptions. Angelina herself told the story of the ‘game’ and the bystanders falling to the knees and wailing upon seeing the soldiers. This isn’t speculation or rumour, this is something Angelina herself saw fit to tell a magazine.

        I realise you’re a fan, but there’s no way you can spin this to make her actions not terrible. To repurpose your analogy to something more accurate, this is like your hotel proudly telling the world they’re infested with bed bugs and then wondering why people are disgusted.

      • IsThisReal? says:

        What assumptions? This is based on HER WORDS.

        And, I am totally open to the idea that she did NOT do this.

        But, if she did, it is inexcusable. There is no way around that. Trauma is trauma is trauma.

        I had bedbugs. I dealt with the bedbugs. The trauma of that is nothing nothing at all compared to the PTSD from my childhood. that is deeply embedded in my tissues.

        If Angie created a scene where ANYONE, adult or child, had to reopen wounds, go thru the same terror again, this is despicable. I have lost all respect for this woman, IF it is true.

  37. Camille says:

    Well said. I completely agree with your assessment of the situation and thankful for your reasoning. I volunteer in many dire situations and I want to do more but I’m scared I’ll get too emotional. I remember Angelina saying something similar. She was so saddened by the horror that she saw that she cried and felt helpless. Then she told herself to shut up and be brave because her tears don’t help anyone. This is obviously not a direct quote but I believe an accurate interpretation of her meaning. And it’s something that sits with me, along with other great quotes from other great minds, that project me forth into this world trying to be brave and make a difference.

  38. Scotchy says:

    I am not a fan nor a stan, I think we are all really quick to judge this women , which hey it’s a gossip site it’s what we come here to do.

    I think the casting story was horrible, however for HWR to jump in and speculate, seems media attention seeking to me.

    Most of us typing here (myself including) have not done even a fraction of what this woman has done in terms of aid work.

    I also think that all humans make poor choices and even the most ultraistic get in bed with dodgy humans if they feel it will bring awareness and change to their cause.

    It is hard to help people. Very effing hard. SO while I think an apology for that horrible casting session would probably suffice, I am not going to jump on the HRW speculative band wagon.

    This woman does more for those in need than I do so who am I to nitpick?

    • peridot says:

      Agree. As a local journalist, I have bitterly concluded that HRW has not exactly been paragons of virtue, as it has at times been emotively and actively trying to illegally undermine democratic & judicial processes in various Southeast Asian countries. Top HRW officials pick & choose causes that align with the neoliberalism agenda, without much regards of the countries’ sovereignty & cultural differences. HRW’s country’s directors are often white, foreign & male, which appeal to mainly urban elites, but are often seen as patronising, economically & politically disruptive by the common folks. Many times have I wished that a majority of these international human rights officers could fix their own background first, instead of picking up laborious & often unnecessary fights with our elected government reps, or coming out with mainly English reports that broadbrush our people as helpless or uneducated, and our countries as failed states, which mainly panders to the Western male egos. Yes, our countries have a long history of weak governance, and we continue to be manipulated by rich countries’ political machinations, but at the heart of the issue, are the people on the ground who choose to believe in the goodness of philanthropists, be it a famous actress or a billionaire IT guy, because they are not politicians, they have been for years, selflessly giving donations that directly help the poor, and are more willing to give our communities a voice and a respectable face on the global platform. I would not spite Angie’s proven body of global social good by overly crucifying her misstep in child casting ethics.

    • clicking says:

      except that HWR didn’t just jump in and speculate, they gave their professional opinion on what Angelina told VF about the movie. plus, “media attention seeking”?? we’re talking about the Human Rights Watch

  39. Shannon says:

    Hahahahahaha she is going down. And it’s delightful to see!

    • Noelle says:

      A lot of the criticisms of AJ’s conduct in this area are constructive and valid. But then we get to commentators such as the infamous Shannon (another dlister who has strangely made their way over just at this moment of controversy…) who obsessional hatred of Ms Jolie is scary and nasty with no objectivity or reality. One feels their wishes to take down Ms Jolie will never be realised.

      • Josephina says:

        Constructive????

        Hell to the naw. More like a bunch of hens feeding off each other.

        If you dare try to read ALL of the comments, you would get the impression that Angelina created, implemented, vetted the casting of the child ALL By HERSELF and then encouraged Kmer militia to do anythig they want while filiming.

        Now the women are now concerned about Cambodian children’s welfare like they have never been before (yet still will not donate a dime, lobby, or invest time to help the people of Cambodia even after said child abuse accusations… I mean, damn, the neurosis is REAL on this thread.

        Again, you ladies have run off into the woods with this. And there is the REASON behind it …

    • I am bored says:

      What is she going down for? Name it. And please name what SHE did and not what someone else did. Same thing different man.

    • K.I.T.T says:

      What did she ever do to you Shannon? You sound rather unhinged.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      ….And another catty one proves the point feminists are trying to make.

  40. kristi says:

    omg people with their panties in a bundle over whether she’s wrong with how she casted – news flash – no one is going to go see this movie just like no one went to see her other movies. It will flop and hopefully she fades away and just concentrates on her kids for once.
    The problem people have with her is this never ending need to portray herself as perfect, and now as some victim because Brad had words with a teenage boy. I mean really?? Get off it people. She’s no saint. she’s just a person.
    a person that went on a tirade to destroy the father of her children’s name in the media with baseless claims to put her in a better light. her kids will read that, yet she’s concerned about what the kids are going through? puh lease. she could have kept it behind doors, and it backfired on her.
    Everything with these types of people (Hollywood) are calculated moves, and this is just another one of hers. now people are starting to see through it, that’s all

  41. hogtowngooner says:

    I think it’s also worth mentioning the other anecdote she told about this film, where locals on and around the set became frightened and upset when they saw soldiers (actors/extras) in Khmer Rouge-era get up.

    For someone who claims to have been so profoundly moved by Cambodian history that she wanted to make a film about it, this seems incredibly insensitive. Like, in her quest for “authenticity” she knowingly paraded around people and images symbolic of their country’s genocide?

    She’s a hypocrite and this film is all about stroking her ego. She doesn’t give a shit about these people. To her, they’re a means to an end.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      hogtowngooner, the part of the people falling to their knees and wailing as the people playing the regime drove into town (because they thought it was happening again) came into my mind again as well.

      The head of defense is former Khmer Rouge, and yet she had current military playing the Khmer Rouge in her film? No wonder people fell to their knees in terror! The connections of the people playing Khmer Rouge to the real Khmer Rouge is just too close.

    • The Original G says:

      I truly thinks she cares. Unfortunately, the way to express caring can be complex and often there’s more to it than one person’s impulses.

  42. Jayna says:

    Maybe it’s Maddox’s fault, his call. He was only 14 last year, but Angelina has given him an executive producer credit (spare me) for the movie.

    Too soon for jokes?

  43. crazydaisy says:

    I must be the only person in the world who thought the casting game was a good way to find the best child actor for the role. Why is everyone *assuming* the kids weren’t prepared first, didn’t understand that it was “a game”, didn’t know what it meant to be auditioning for a movie, or even what a movie is! Give me a break! Would Angelina Jolie really torture impoverished kids, and be so clueless not to realize? My assumption is that these kids were paid to audition, treated kindly throughout, adore AJ and will always remember the great experience they had trying out for this film–a film which honors Cambodia by telling the story of horrific events we never even hear about in this country. Its goal is to raise awareness of a tragedy and appreciation for a beautiful culture. If the army cooperated, the story will be that much more realistic and impactful–how is that an obliterating negative? Should we not actually see the movie first before we pass judgement? Or is it simply finally take-down time for Hollywood’s wild child, and there is just no way to stop this train?

  44. Skylark says:

    Whoa. As much as I can see the problematic aspects of the VF interview and the subsequent fallout, it’s clear from a large % of the comments on this and previous threads that those who can’t stand her and are permanently waiting in the wings for something bona fide to throw at her, are now regarding this as all their Christmases coming at once.

    I’ve said on earlier threads that I don’t care much for her Angie-as-director pretentiousness but the hand-rubbing salivating at what that % are now seeing as the downfall they’ve been hoping and waiting for is seriously shameful.

  45. lower-case deb says:

    how ironic that the officials or army of the current dictatorship is playing their own past counterpart (spiritual predecessor if yoh will), i.e. the officials or army of Khmer Rouge.

    they’re not playing the hero, the savior, the good guys. they are today’s real life baddies playing a historical real life baddy. i hope some of them use this time for reflection also.

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      From what my Cambodian refugee clients have told me in the past, I doubt it. Some of them probably enjoyed the opportunity to relive their past “glory days” as Khmer Rouge.

      • magnoliarose says:

        Spot on BearcatLawyer. The documentary The Act of Killing is about the Indonesian Genocide. That is abundantly clear from the attitudes of the soldiers in the film and after seeing that and other things I have seen and read there is no way not to see this as anything other than heinous.

  46. Jeesie says:

    Does anyone else find it really odd that Lainey hasn’t touched on this story at all? Apparently it’s going to be discussed in her podcast next week, but that’s a rather low profile way of covering what’s become the biggest celebrity story right now.

    Usually this is the kind of thing she’d be all over, especially the PR/damage control aspect.

  47. Zeddy says:

    No confirmation on if military was there (just rumours), and if she had permission they would have followed whether she wanted to or not. Everything from this guy is total speculation. Nice one, Brad, this’ll really endear you towards the kids!

  48. Debutante says:

    She looks like she rolled out of her bed and showed up in her nightgown in that top picture !

  49. At says:

    Disturbing is actually too nice. This is child abuse. There is no sugar coating this nor is there any excuse or justfication for it!

    And To take one of your adopted children and make them a guard over the others? Forcing them in an adult role before they grow up? Disgusting.

  50. Josephina says:

    Too many of you have worked yourselves into a tizzy or pontificated into disapproval with very, very little information and even lesser facts known. What is the point of driving yourselves into this level of anxiety?? All of this artifical intelligence and conjecturing is not advancing anyone’s level of understanding. Right now, it’s as if someone pulled the fire alarm as a catty, prissy joke while herding the alarmed people in the hallways towards the wrong exits.

    Jolie does not need a pass fom anyone on her character and would not ask for one. She has been solidly consistent in her behavior as a refugee/child advocate. The data exists to give you an accurate portrayal of events. As of right now, you do not have access to it.

    There are other reports that give further detail about the nature and method of the casting used for this movie. You will have to look outside of this blog to get acess to it. And do you really think Jolie promotes dictatorships, killings and the murders of women and children in any way, shape or form???? Do you know of any other actors/producers/directors that do this??

    The Human Rights Watch representatiive should know better than to speculate. They spoke before they did their research, just like a gossip pundit. They have the ability, unlike most posters here today, to call, ask questions and investigate. How can you hold someone accountable if YOU are not accountable first????

    Likewise, there has been a consistent stay of confusion (or lack of comprehension) from American women (mainly) for well over a decade regarding Angelina’s position as a global citizen and her related international intentions regarding her professsional and personal choices. The outrageous comments displayed here reflect a sad commentary of how women would rather rush into anxiety when it really is not necessary. It would make so much more sense to question. if at all. and then focus on getting to the truth of the matter.

    Jolie is not a woman of poor taste or low character. And I look forward to seeing her movie. She ALWAYS has the intent on exposing the atrocities of war and/or illustrating how a broken spirit can prevail. If you have yet to pick this up about her after at least 10-25 years of watching her in the film industry, then I am questioning your abillity for discernment.

  51. K.I.T.T says:

    Oh for freak sake! If the kids didn’t want to audition, they wouldn’t have. Anyone ever thought it may be therapy for them, in a way? We don’t get upset at children who have been subject to domestic violence/alcoholism etc in real life auditioning for a part in a movie that calls for with alcoholic characters/domestic violence. Same for rape. Why the fuss over this? Seriously, what petty nonsense this all is!

  52. Manonde says:

    Great thread with v interesting posts from ppl like PPP, detritus, bearcatlawyer, etc. There’s a lot of knee jerk reactions when it comes to jolie and lot of it not from good places – intolerance of ppl who r different, so I’m always aware of this so as not to judge her harshly bc she is clearly unusual.
    However take away that and you still have problematic stuff. The points made by HRW and how she bought land from a war criminal is crossing the line. She treated those poor kids in a v cruel way and didn’t have awareness it was wrong. She seems to be attracted to trauma and violence. Also can’t be on team jolie, though I’m sure she could care less, after how she made her divorce a circus while claiming to be protecting the kids. Finally her use of her kids for pr is way overboard and the VF piece shows that well. Pitts team released a leak to ET saying he was unhappy their privacy wasn’t protected in the article.

    • magnoliarose says:

      When people who say they are fans can’t criticize their idol for something they did wrong I honestly think it veers into an area of suspended reality. They defend her by making up stuff no one said and the kicker is Brad arranged this because…I never paid attention to twihards but I get it now. I am not even a person who dislikes her. This is concerning to anyone who understands simple psychology or has a conscience.
      Ssh don’t speak about B they will torch the place.

      • K.I.T.T says:

        As concerning as someone creating a narrative out of a post and delusionally assuming it said something when it didn’t. There is a psychology study in that. Or perhaps bad English comprehension covers it.

      • Manonde says:

        Well said on the suspended reality point, magnoliarose.

        I agree with the comment down there BP’s family friend leak is pr strategic and hypocritical given he participated in turning their kids into brands. He didn’t like the way she featured them to hint how bad a father he is, I guess. They deserve each other!

    • JESSICA says:

      Pitt sharing his concerns about his kids privacy in an ET leak is PR driven as Jolie talking about their kids in Vanity Fair.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I have to agree with that. He is no innocent poor me in this one bit. I firmly believe she tried her best to be a complete family but there is no way to do that with an addict. I also think his “leak” is a way to spark criticisms of her nomadic life which has been an area of disagreement. You know take her down a few notches so his actions don’t look so bad.

  53. Sage says:

    “Pitts team released a leak to ET saying he was unhappy their privacy wasn’t protected in the article.”

    LMAO, Brad posed for People magazine with his new born twins!! C’mon Brad, very hypocritical.

    • LadyT says:

      He wasn’t complaining about pictures. She’s had plenty of pics with her kids taken in the past months that didn’t get a complaint. It was giving out personal information post break up about the kids and shading him some more that was the issue. I think it’s something they agreed not to do. Maybe legally, maybe just an agreement. She talked about the children’s needing to heal and be brave in a way that reminded everyone, once again, that this was all Brad’s fault in her eyes.

      • Noelle says:

        Pitt’s “family friend” comments just seemed so duplicitous and hypocritical whatever the reasoning behind. Certainly put Brad in z bad light.

      • JESSICA says:

        Pitt’s “family friend” wants us to know how he is doing and how much time he spends time with his kids. The goal is to paint him in a good light. Just say, Brad or Brad’s team. Pitt loves his kids and if he’s concerned about their privacy maybe he should take his own advice and address his concerns privately. Because sharing them with the public is PR like.

      • LadyT says:

        We’re talking about her recent interview, and his here. What exactly was duplicitous and hypocritical? He didn’t bad mouth Angie in his interview, quite the contrary. Nor did he give out personal information about the children. He addressed himself, his mistakes, accepted blame and what he was doing to rectify it. Very different than Angie’s agenda in her interview.

      • I am bored says:

        Oh, lady T gmab. It’s only an issue now because he can’t use his kids anymore. He doesn’t have the same access as he did before he was caught abusing them. Crying in gq and talking about how cps had him shackled down, talki about how bad his daddy was. Omg. Guess what we can google his ugly house too and most celebrity houses.

        You know why people Call Shiloh John and think she’s a transgender child ? T’s because of a story Brad Pitt told on oprahs show while promoting a movie. Privacy my ass!!

      • Paige says:

        I could be wrong but perhaps Noelle believes he’s being a hypocrite because Brad’s team has said he wants the entire situation handled PRIVATELY but his reps shared Brad’s concerns about the kids privacy PUBLICLY. Yes, that’s the way to do it!

      • LadyT says:

        Yeah ok. Great point /s. Signing out.

    • The Original G says:

      It’s quite easy to google that house in LA , find the address and see all the rooms etc. I think that’s a mistake.

  54. Poppy says:

    I live in South East Asia (in a country close to Cambodia) and I can tell you that it is impossible to do anything without close cooperation with the government/military. I’m not excusing her actions but the reality is that if she wanted to film in Cambodia then the collaboration was unavoidable

    • Ennie says:

      She was criticized ince, I don’t remember exactly when, for daring to not criticismze some bad leader of a South Asia country, like she shiuld be black and white. Said leader was receiving refugees into the bordernof his country. Diplomacy, especially in regards to humanitarian actions is not black and white at all. The refugees have to, preferably, stay ina neighbouring country, and this bad leader was supporting them. Sometimes you have to be pragmatic and collaborate. She probably, in her quest to do the movie in Cambodia with Cambodians, employing Cambodians, had to make some compromises.

  55. vanessa says:

    Actually whatever the goods you people on this site claimed she has done, it’s basically photo-ops set up by UN. They sent her to somewhere, had her photographed together with the refugee, and by doing so, they had a celebrity face inserted into the news. This celebrity could be Nicole Kidman, George Glooney, etc, and a lot of celebrity did so. No doubt Angie is more attached to her PR role with UN. However, every time she makes a decision on her own, she shows poor judgements. She obviously has no knowledges about the conflict zones and dictatorships regimes she was sent to visit. Like last time, she enjoyed the privileges given by the controversial Nambia government and had them shut down the entire beach so she could give birth to Shiloh, and had their family photos taken by the Vogue. I personally she knows nothing about the world. She might have her heart in the right place. However, she behaves like another Madonna, a privileged white American female entertainer who thinks about her own PR so they can sell their movies/songs to the world.

  56. kiki says:

    It’s ironic that in Cambodia who were the first to have seen this movie see it as a tribute to them, their past, their healing and moving forward. They made this movie, in their language, on their soil and she Angelina Jolie gave them a voice to do that – to tell their story however painful it was, it’s their story. The government can trace their steps and see the damage they caused and know they have a responsibility to their nation, to their people.
    Why does negative have to come from negative, you think this is the hardest and most painful thing these kids have been through?
    Their lives have changed, they are film stars in their country for that representation and rightful so.
    She bought and read this book before she adopted Maddox…….and held on to it until it was the right time. Her son is Cambodian and if you think she’s clueless about their culture good and bad…..shame on you! ok so the military are in the movie….maybe they need to reenact that period to get perspective….have you thought about that? before judging this whole process, because this has been in the making for years.
    She’s the only one who dares to go there, to challenge this system…..always has and ironically always has been ridiculed and criticized.

  57. Joannie says:

    Haven’t read all the comments or the article but my opinion of Jolie has always been she has Narccistic Personality Disorder. Her humanitarian work is for the benefit of herself even though it may have benefited others. I was married to a man who has NPD. Watching her interviews I can see it in her. I have never enjoyed her acting or her movies. She’s a very dark person. That’s not to say she doesn’t possess any redeeming qualities but she is certainly attracted to the darkness in life whether it be weapons, war, rape etc. She’s always given me a creepy vibe. Cant say I have any deep feeling about her other than that. jmo

    • I am bored says:

      Okay Doctor. Just tell the truth Joanie. You have a hard on for Brad Pitt and move it along.

      • Cirien says:

        oh for goodness sake. Stop brining up Brad Pitt in every answer

      • I am bored says:

        Ok ciren , not going to happen especially not when I see certain people’s comments. They hate her because they love Brad. Period.

        Funny how you TRIED to call me out but you’re okay with that person diagnosing someone’s mental illness? The issue she thinks Angelina has is probably exactly what Brad has, but I’m not a doc so i would never diagnose him with anything.

        Just like Angelina I’m the bad guy. 🙄

      • Joannie says:

        You just diagnosed Brad. How hypocritical!

      • K.I.T.T says:

        “She was a cutter, had an eating disorder, unstable relationships, drug use, self harm, volatile” No Magnoliarose (and Joannie) those are hallmarks of an AVERAGE TEENAGER. Most of those things happened when she was a KID. A teenager. Tell me, are you still the same person you were in your teenage years? It always makes me so disgusted that people use something like cutting against her. She is what, 40 years old now! As a High school teacher, I can tell you that most of what you say, is normal teenage behaviour.

    • Saskia says:

      NPD is definitely a possibility.

    • magnoliarose says:

      Joannie,
      You have a point there though I think it is more Borderline like Princess Diana it was mentioned years and ages ago. She was a cutter, had an eating disorder, unstable relationships, drug use, self harm, volatile those are hallmarks of BPD. But it can be a mix too. I do believe you when you say you see it. People who have been exposed to personality disorders had reactions to Diana too. They have similar behaviors in some areas and it is telling she admires Diana and is inspired by her.
      Her worshipers can’t seem to understand the difference between a public persona and the flawed human being behind it. Everything negative has to be a lie no matter if it is true. Some people don’t like her for valid reasons but as you know people with PDs are often extremely effective in creating a highly positive public face. Diana was perfect to so many people but she was flawed and volatile behind the scenes. I think it is accepted now. It doesn’t take away the positive things at all or diminish any of her admirable accomplishments.

    • Manonde says:

      I agree Joanie she seemsto have narcissistic pd, but I think she also genuinely wants to make a difference and connects with the disadvantaged. That guardian article trolling her for this latest thing points out research shows her efforts such as sexual violence in conflict haven’t made any difference though.

  58. I am bored says:

    Tweet from rithy panh
    @rpanh

    Calme down people… it was not happened like that… journalist repeat thing without knowing…

    ————

    You people are so quick to judge this woman but give an actual abuser (Brad Pitt) a pass. He actually had cps and the fbi after his kids because of what he did. The writer of the Vanity fair peice is a tabloid hack that brought up all of her past and threw in her lame two cents in for hits. #Fakenews

  59. bap says:

    Panh Rithy @RPanh
    Calme down people… it was not happened like that… journalist repeat thing without knowing…
    3:25 AM – Jul 29, 2017
    3 3 Replies 10 10 Retweets 33 33 likes
    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    7h
    Panh Rithy @RPanh
    Replying to @erinahandley @ouvirak
    Give time to time… I want to see how far it can go…
    Follow
    Erin Handley ✔ @erinahandley
    Surely it would be a good to correct the record before this spins out of control and becomes fixed in the public imagination?
    6:52 AM – Jul 29, 2017
    1 1 Reply 2 2 Retweets 4 4 likes
    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    Follow
    Panh Rithy @RPanh
    Replying to @erinahandley @ouvirak
    Yes… the public has a lot of imagination… Cannot fight fire with fire… just need little time.
    Words flow like a tongue without bone…

  60. bap says:

    Angelina has just put out a statement. I am so proud of her Humanitarian work.

  61. Artemis says:

    A further explanation has been given about the casting process. What I want to know is why Jolie didn’t pipe up immediately when the article came out if it presented herself and the film in such a bad light? Did her team really need the few days of outrage before thinking ‘hey maybe we should explain it better?’. Some posters upthread have posted Mr Panh’s tweets which says to ‘wait’ and it’s clear that they needed to get their story straight but he was on the ball more imo.

    And yet it still doesn’t address why mimicking a scene with kids who DID come from impoverished backgrounds (orphans don’t show up to auditions in an NGO setting, they were obviously scouted!) is something they thought was OK to orchestrate? If you need a therapist present for possible triggers, it’s still not okay in my book to use socially disadvantaged people whether that’s children or adults. Also considering the impact of the atrocities are still on the surface.

    This is a classic case of powerful people arguing about their good INTENTS when its the IMPACT on their poor and traumatized subjects we need to look at…. which clearly if some adults ‘fell to their knees’ thinking the Khmer Rouge came back is still a massive ethical no-no. There is no justification imo.

    Dubiously, Jolie and Panh priopristed the casting story but other valid points were made about ethics which they are choosing to ignore because there is no way to answer themI’m sure. It goes over their head as they thought making this film and making it authentic is reason enough to overlook the ethics points raised. I’m sorry but it’s not and they will learn the hard way. Plus nobody actually said point blank that all the children were fine, they are saying they took great care and that people were present yet where is the evidence that children weren’t triggered? Would Jolie and her team have the transparency to admit the therapists and doctors were put to work or not? That they will continue to stand-by if the people later feel the effects of their ‘acting’ in the movie?

    I wonder if the writer (Ms Peretz) is going to refute this as sometimes they mention their audio evidence but I doubt it due to Jolie’s status. I bet VF is shook they are part of such a big PR cock-up and Jolie might look elsewhere for big interviews from now on. She’s got plenty of choice. That or Ms Peretz’ career is going to suffer one way or another, like imagine having that on your CV. Ouch.

    • K.I.T.T says:

      Really the fuss only came out 2 days ago and she has already responded. How much more quicker do you want it?

      “VF is shook”
      VF is shaken. ‘VF is shook’ is broken English. Its like how Americans say ‘she was bit by a dog’ instead of BITTEN by a dog.

  62. bap says:

    Truth crush to earth will rise. Love and Respect Dame Angelina.

  63. Na na says:

    I think we should wait and hear whatever she may have to say about this. It’s so surprising that people are so willing to subtly call her a hypocrite after all the good she has done and has tried to do.
    personally I think she’s trying to get as much information as possible to make a movie that is real and that unfortunately involves some questionable methods.

  64. magnoliarose says:

    What does that mean? Not snarky just curious.

  65. Cirien says:

    Was this addressed to me?

    About “MTE”? It means “my thoughts exactly”