Inside the Brangelina industry

There are only seven Brad/Jen/Angelina narratives

Have you ever wondered how the same week that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolis are “finally over!” on one tabloid cover, they’re “getting hitched” on another? The Guardian examines the workings of the Brangelina industry, headquartered, as writer Oliver Burkeman puts it, “at the unpoliced border of truth and invention.” He discovers only seven Brad/Jen/Angelina narratives exist, which are endlessly recycled: “Brad and Angelina in love; Brad and Angelina obtaining more children; Brad secretly meeting or texting Jen; Angelina’s fury at Brad for meeting or texting Jen; Angelina looking dangerously thin (‘scary skinny’); Jen in love; Jen alone again.” The challenge for tabloids, one editor explains, is always coming up with the next chapter. The resulting stories stick to a narrow range: “Aniston must emerge with hope: despondency must be short-lived, because it’s depressing – and, just as importantly, dull.” Jolie emerges a mastermind of tabloid manipulation; she personally orchestrated the bidding war for the first pictures of her twins, Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline which raised $14m for the Pitt-Jolie Foundation, allegedly dictated that the coverage not reflect negatively on her or her family. The fact these stories rarely end up to be true doesn’t seem to diminish sales. “A tabloid version of a fact isn’t exactly a lie,” is how one editor at a prominent celebrity weekly puts it. “But it isn’t the truth. You know what I mean?”

The Guardian

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