In 2,476 Words, Buzzfeed Dissects Angelina's Calculated Move

Jolie is the ultimate architect of our own impression of her
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2016 10:31 AM CDT
Updated Sep 25, 2016 10:00 AM CDT
In 2,476 Words, Buzzfeed Dissects Angelina's Calculated Move
In this Jan. 27, 2008 file photo, Angelina Jolie, left, and Brad Pitt sit together before the start of the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)

It's not wholly unexpected that the demise of Brangelina would spur a longform piece, and Anne Helen Petersen provides it at Buzzfeed. In 2,476 words, Petersen takes us on the familiar journey of how the couple came to be and then not be, but does it through the lens of a calculated Jolie who "continues to masterfully control the publicity narrative around her." She's been in the driver's seat before: In the wake of Brad Pitt's divorce filing from Jennifer Aniston in January 2005, and that W magazine photo shoot of Pitt and Jolie six months later, Jolie "ran a perfect publicity game by seeming like she wasn’t playing one at all."

Like pulling a railroad switch, she didn't speak of the scandal but generated a new conversation—about human rights, and refugees—by skillfully employing press photos and "speeches that had nothing to do with her own love life." Slowly, writes Petersen, people began to cheer for "Team Jolie." And she's engineering our view once again. Petersen points out that the filing comes just in advance of Pitt's Oscar campaign for Allied—a period in which it would behoove Pitt to rock as few boats as possible. She didn't break the news through the media but "allowed" (quotation marks are Petersen's) the news to eventually come out via the discovery of the legal documents, "effectively creating a gossip vacuum" that was rapidly filled with negative press about Pitt. Read the full piece here. (More Angelina Jolie stories.)

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