Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Team Jolie-Pitt Triumphs Again

Now we know the price for worldwide celebrity obsession: It's more than $4.1 million.

The figure is reportedly the amount that People magazine in the United States paid for the exclusive North American rights to pictures of Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, daughter of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. But the pictures apparently also have been sold to Hello! magazine in the United Kingdom and other media outlets worldwide, pushing the estimated total amount paid up to $7 million.

In a masterstroke of both charitable giving and public relations, Jolie and Pitt plan to donate all the proceeds from the pictures to charity. This donation follows their first gifts of $300,000 for maternity equipment for two Namibian hospitals and a $15,000 for a community education initiative.

Suddenly, all celebrities who have pocketed the money for pictures of their babies, weddings or homes seem shallow, miserly and stupid. Much like they are, probably.

The May 27 birth of this little girl has been a case study in how to outfox the media and the public. Pitt and Jolie travelled with their other two children to the southern African country Namibia to have the baby. I'm quite certain that most entertainment reporters could not find that country on a globe prior to this trip. By going there, they ensured that there would be few reporters and photographers in the country to follow their every move. To ensure their privacy, the government would not issue any journalistic visas to anyone without the express written consent of Jolie and Pitt.

Personally, all of these actions caused me to switch my allegiance from Team Aniston (wronged first wife) to Team Jolie (international humanitarian who really cares about African children). Jolie seems to be a woman who takes her responsibilities as a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador seriously. Unlike, say, Geri Haliwell, also a U.N. ambassador who recently sold pictures of her newborn daughter to Hello! but did not donate any of her proceeds to charity.

The couple, who are the subject of worldwide interest, first got to know one another while starring in the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Pitt happened to be married to Aniston at the time.

But how the couple, dubbed Bradgelina, have handled the interest in this child makes me respect them like I never did before.

The couple said in a statement, "While we celebrate the joy of the birth of our daughter, we recognize that 2 million babies born every year in the developing world die on the first day of their lives. These children can be saved, but only if governments around the world make it a priority."

If only all celebrities could use the superficial interest in them for the benefit of others. Other celebrities really could learn something from Team Jolie-Pitt.


jkrunning--Just Keep Running said...

While I agree with you on all points made, especially the ones about how gracious Brad and Angelina have been, I am still and always will be a Jennifer fan. I do think that a lesson should be learned in Hollywood from Brad, Angelina and Jennifer. They have all been discreet and courteous toward the other parties and have shown grace and class that is seldom seen from celebrities.

Laura said...

Can I like Aniston, Pitt and Jolie?

Either way, I agree. They have gone up hugely in my estimation by not just paying lip service but actually doing something about it.

The world could use more responsible celebrities; we have enough of the self-obsessed ones.