Angelina Jolie is getting heat from reporters, who say they were forced to sign contracts before being allowed to interview the actress at last night's premiere of her new movie A Might Heart. These agreements stipulated, among other things, that no questions be asked about Ms. Jolie's personal life, and warned that if interview materials were used to portray Jolie in a "disparaging, derogatory or demeaning" manner, she would have the right to seek a restraining order blocking the use of said material, and further recourse to a lawsuit. In other words, Angelina is forcing people to agree, in writing, not to make fun of her, and is threatening to sue them if they do. Naturally, a lot of journalists refused to sign the agreement. Both the USA Today and Associated Press canceled plans to interview Jolie. And Jolie's reaction? She put the kibosh on all planned interviews with print outlets. The TV interviews went on of course - and there were plenty of outlets willing to sacrifice all pretense of journalistic integrity in exchange for a thirty-second clip of an emaciated-looking Jolie smiling and talking about how wonderful it was to play Mariane Pearl.
"Who does she think she is?" one unidentified reporter for a major outlet said after refusing to sign Jolie's don't-make-fun-of-Angelina pledge. The answer to that is simple - she thinks she's Angelina Jolie. And why shouldn't someone as important as that be accorded all this deferential treatment? Angelina is a movie-star after all - one who makes movies like A Mighty Heart, which tells the story of the wife of a journalist murdered by radical Muslims. Yes, I know - there's irony here. Angelina forcing reporters to sign agreements curbing their rights, after making a movie about how freedom of the press is being threatened by oppressive, non-Democratic elements. But before you accuse Angie of being a total hypocrite, remember this - Daniel Pearl, the poor murdered reporter, was only covering terrorism in the Middle East. He wasn't on such an important story as how wonderful Angelina Jolie is. Jolie's image must be protected at all costs - unlike Islamo-fascism, which can't be all that big a deal, otherwise the terrorists would have lawyers to go around writing up contracts and making reporters sign them. Just think - if Daniel Pearl had been forced not to ask all those unpleasant questions, he would never have gotten himself killed. And then Angie wouldn't have had to make the sacrifice of time and effort required to produce a movie about how courageous Pearl was.
Anyway, the important thing is not what Angelina says - it's how she looks. The dress she wore to last night's premiere reportedly cost her $26. Because it would've looked bad for her to spend tons of money on an outfit. She's all about the message, not that superficial, image-driven crap.
Update: Angelina Jolie has backed off her insistence that press members sign a contract agreeing not to ask her personal questions or be critical of her. Interviews will take place at tomorrow's press junket for A Mighty Heart without restriction. AP has already agreed to the new terms.
Somebody must've explained to Angelina that interviews are a big part of promoting a movie. And media outlets like AP are not just going to agree to a lot of silly stipulations. She needs them much worse than they will ever need her.
Thursday, June 14, 2007