Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie Was Accused Of Taunting Young Cambodian Orphans With Money

Angelina Jolie’s actions on the set of First They Killed My Father caused her major backlash and certainly caused some to question her motives.

When people look back at the last few decades in Hollywood, there is no doubt that Angelina Jolie’s name will stand out as one of the most notable actors of her generation. An incredibly talented performer, Jolie has had an incredible career and life from the outside looking in. On top of that, even though she is best known as an actor, there also is no doubt that Jolie has done a lot of good for the world as well.

Given everything that Angelina Jolie has accomplished during her life, there is no doubt that she has led a charmed life. However, that doesn’t mean that everything in life has been easy for Jolie. For example, Jolie and Brad Pitt’s divorce has been the subject of scandalous headlines in the past and there is no doubt that she has a difficult relationship with her famous father. On top of that, Jolie was accused of taunting young Cambodian orphans with money and nobody wants that kind of negative attention.

Did Angelina Jolie Taunt Kids On The Set Of First They Killed My Father?

After starring in a handful of movies like Hackers and The Bone Collector, Angelina Jolie’s career went to another level when she starred in Girl, Interrupted. In the years that followed, Jolie headlined many movies that made lots of money and she earned too many accolades to list them all here. Then, in the 2010s, Jolie’s passion for acting seemed to wane. After all, from 2012 until 2019, Jolie only appeared onscreen in three films.

Just because Angelina Jolie took a step away from acting doesn’t mean that she wasn’t busy during that era of her life. After all, on top of her putting a lot of work into raising her kids and giving back, Jolie directed and produced several films. For example, Jolie directed and produced the 2017 film First They Killed My Father on top of co-writing the screenplay for the movie. While the film won awards and received critical acclaim, First They Killed My Father also got Jolie in hot water because of an interview Jolie gave Vanity Fair to promote the movie.

📸 “First They Killed My Father” premiere at TIFF, 2017 #AngelinaJolie— yeni🎭 (@momAJ_sixchild) March 25, 2022

As a part of Vanity Fair’s article about the making of Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father, the movie’s casting process was described. In order to put the response to the article in the full context, the paragraph about the casting process is quoted here in full.

“To cast the children in the film, Jolie looked at orphanages, circuses, and slum schools, specifically seeking children who had experienced hardship. In order to find their lead, to play young Loung Ung, the casting directors set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away.”

“The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie. ‘Srey Moch [the girl ultimately chosen for the part] was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time,’ Jolie says. ‘When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back.’ Jolie then tears up. ‘When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.’”

Angelina Jolie’s Response To The Casting Backlash

After the Vanity Fair article about First They Killed My Father was published, many readers were outraged at the idea that Angelina Jolie teased orphans with money before pulling it away. In fact, the backlash was so severe that it didn’t take much time at all for Jolie to learn the controversy. In response, Jolie released a strongly worded statement attempting to clear things up and defend herself.

“I am upset that a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film, has been written about as if it was a real scenario. The point of this film is to bring attention to the horrors children face in war and to help fight to protect them. The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting. I would be outraged myself if this had happened. Every measure was taken to ensure the safety, comfort and well-being of the children on the film starting from the auditions through production to the present.”

On the one hand, the people who were outraged at Angelina Jolie about First They Killed My Father’s casting had a point. After all, if Jolie really had teased orphans with money only to pull it away, that would have been cruel, especially in light of the one child’s funeral plans. However, when you read the Vanity Fair paragraph about the casting process closely, there are a few words that make it seem clear that didn’t happen. First off, the article refers to the casting exercise as a “game”. On top of that, the article referred to catching the kids and forcing them to give the money back as “pretend”.

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