When news emerged of Angelina Jolie filing for divorce from Brad Pitt, the internet swivelled its digital eyeball towards Pitt’s first wife, Jennifer Aniston, for her reaction.
‘Poor Jen’, as she was known for years in the tabloids, had been cheated on, then cast aside, by Pitt for Jolie, who — as you might be aware — went onto become a four legged mega creature with six child tentacles called Brangelina.
So how did Jen — now happily married without even a single biological or adopted child, because she didn’t want any, thanks all the same — respond to the news?
“F*ck society, you people make me sick,” she was reported to have told the Today show in the US.
“While you idiots are talking about this Brangelina bullsh*t, you’re ignoring what just happened yesterday with Terence Crutcher. An unarmed black father of four was driving home from college when his car broke down. The police showed up and shot him while both of his hands were in the air. This was all caught on video, which you can easily watch on the internet. But instead, no, none of you will do that. You will instead focus on the fact that a celebrity couple is going through a divorce. F*ck you.”
And just as many of us were thinking WOW, JEN and how we might have to rush out and get a brand new Team Aniston t-shirt — and gosh, isn’t she sweary — it turns out that she didn’t say any of this at all. It appeared on a satirical website, The Good Lord Above, and was quickly revealed to be a hoax.
I don’t know about you, but this revelation left me with a fleeting sense of deflation — because wouldn’t it have been utterly, utterly splendid if she really had said this? If a mainstream star had reacted in this way, reminding us how warped it is that yet another murder of an ordinary unarmed black man by racist trigger-happy cops barely gets a mention on a day when a rich white couple announce they are splitting up?
If someone as famous as Jennifer Aniston had said something astonishingly truthful and reminded us where we are? Wouldn’t that be far more interesting than two actors divorcing?
It got me wondering what a truthful newscaster might sound like.
“Good evening, and here is the news. We’ve allowed several more families, just like yours, to drown in the Mediterranean again today. The ones who didn’t drown are now destitute in Calais, where the unaccompanied children — 1,022 of them at the last count — are being preyed upon by sex traffickers.
“These are children the same as ours, but we prefer to call them swarms of migrants, because the media dehumanisation of people fleeing war makes it easier for our governments to pander to right wing populism by doing absolutely nothing to help. Future generations will look back with horror at our callous inaction. And now for the weather.”
It would never catch on, would it?
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved