Today, Angelina Jolie's people responded to the brouhaha over the restrictive contract they'd given news outlets to sign before Jolie would agree to be interviewed on the red carpet at the premiere of her new film A Mighty Heart. When most news outlets refused to sign (and Roger Friedman got all indignant that Fox allegedly hasn't been invited), the damage control began. From the Times: "Ms. Jolie's lawyer, Robert Offer, said that the statement was the fault of a 'bone-headed, overzealous lawyer'—meaning himself—and that his client was unaware of the move." That's very nice of Robert Offer to take the blame; Jolie refused to comment. But a source tells us there's almost no way Jolie could not have signed off on the contract.
When the Jolie-Pitts were off in Cambodia last winter, outlets that wished to submit bids to Getty Images for the photos were sent a nearly four-page, single-spaced memo describing Jolie's work in Cambodia. Further, the memo stated:
While Angelina and Brad understand the interest in their family, they also expect that the publications who purchase these photos will use them in a way that also draws attention to the needs of the Cambodian people. Angelina, Brad Pitt, and the staff working on these programs will provide exclusive quotes to the publication that purchases the photos. Publications are invited to comment on their editorial plans when submitting their bids.Those photos went to People magazine, which soon afterwards published an article about Cambodia.
So if this has been standard practice for Jolie for quite some time, why did journalists get all riled up now? Another source tells us that the Friedman piece blew the situation out of proportion, and that while Jolie's demands may have been over the top in the past, the Mighty Heart document was necessary: "It was slightly heavy handed, but at the same time they were allowing every print organization under the sun to attend the junket," this source tells us. "There are junkets with C-listers that ban certain magazines, and here you have Angelina opening the door wide open." And it got slammed in her face. Ouch.
A Deal Too Far: Interviewers Balk At Jolie's Terms [NYT]
Jolie's Full-Court Press [TSG]