Friday, June 15, 2007
Angelina Jolie Restrictions
Angelina Jolie is in the news for all the wrong reasons. While promoting her film "A Mighty Heart," the story of a journalist who is murdered by extremists, Jolie foolishly tried to force journalists to sign one of the most restrictive release forms I've ever seen. The irony of doing this for a film about journalists is of course obvious. Last night on the Daily Show, Jolie fobbed it off as something she had nothing to do with -- it was just something that people who work for her did without her knowledge. Uh, they represent you so anything they do is in your name and you're responsible. She should simply apologize and promise never to do it again or she should defend it. Acting as if it had nothing to with her is silly. Roger Friedman of FoxNews.com points out the irony of all this. I took part in an "intimate press conference" with Jolie at Cannes that included about 12 other journalists from around the world. We were not asked to sign any release form, but a representative of the film did say that we were invited because we were all adults and they expected us not to ask any "personal" questions. We simply ignored them, as insulting and stupid as it was. Jolie herself brought up her partner Brad Pitt before the first question was even asked. I have empathy for celebs stalked by photographers and bottom-feeders. But Brad Pitt was a producer on the film and attached to the project long before Jolie. Not mentioning him would have been idiotic. Besides, if you're Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, expecting people not to mention your partner in any situation is unrealistic. I found Jolie really interesting and smart during the press conference. This might come across more if she didn't shut herself off from major media outlets that behave professionally. (Among the groups she tried to force to sign this pledge -- which was absurdly broad -- were the Associated Press and other major outlets. Are they really the problem? I typically refuse to sign any release forms and they simply don't pop up more than once a year, if that. I have a feature on Jolie and "A Mighty Heart" running in the NY Daily News this Sunday. The film is well worth seeing.