angelina jolie no friends

9 Reasons People Still Hate Angelina Jolie (and Why They Should Reconsider)

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Apr. 26 2020, Updated 10:37 p.m. ET

Angelina Jolie is struggling to win the people's support. After filing for divorce from Brad Pitt in 2016, both Hollywood and the public have been distancing themselves from her, disagreeing with how she's behaved during the ongoing custody battle. Now with everyone firmly on #TeamBrad, her most ardent haters are relishing in the schadenfreude as they echo "I told you so"s and repeat decades-old rumors about Angie's "calculated" behavior.

But maybe everyone needs to take a step back a bit. Although Hollywood has their reasons for hating Angelina (and there are a lot), there are two sides to every story. Dig a little deeper and you'll realize that there are no villains or heroes, and maybe we all should be a little less quick to judge. Below, the most common reasons people hate Angelina and a few reasons for why they should reconsider that.

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1. She was called a "minimally talented spoiled brat" by a producer.

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Source: Getty Images

During the infamous 2014 Sony email hack, it was revealed that producer Scott Rudin hated Angelina. In the emails, Scott wrote to then-Sony president Amy Pascal that the actress' requests for a now-shelved Cleopatra movie were too demanding.

"I'm not destroying my career over a minimally talented spoiled brat who thought nothing of shoving this off her plate for eighteen months so she could go direct a movie," Scott wrote in the leaked email chain. When Angelina told him she wanted to study a few more films before deciding on a director, Scott wrote to Amy, "Beyond belief. She's studying films. Kill me please. Immediately." For Angie's critics, the emails confirmed rumored reports about her "ego."

In Angelina's Defense

Although being called a "brat" by a studio producer is never a good look for any celebrity, Angelina's emails uncovered in the hack showed that she was professional, ambitious, and wasn't someone to easily cave to other people's demands. In the entertainment industry, this kind of behavior, especially from a woman, will always be looked down on. "Asserting ourselves as female artists represents something really, really important in the world today," she famously said in a speech last year.

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2. She tried to smear Brad's name in their ongoing divorce and custody dispute.

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Source: Getty Images

The death of "Brangelina," as they were obnoxiously called in the media, is still a shock to the public. After a 2016 plane incident where Brad admittedly got into an intoxicated argument with his teenage son, Maddox, Angelina filed for divorce and an FBI investigation was launched against Brad for alleged child abuse. Although the media originally praised Angie for protecting her children, when the investigation cleared Brad of any wrongdoing, many thought the Girls, Interrupted star had smeared his name out of malice. Others found it in poor taste when she made key elements of her divorce, like custody filings, public record. 

Earlier this summer, when Angelina accused Brad of not paying child support, the public firmly switched to #TeamBrad, and a scathing Page Six article painted her as a woman putting her hurt feelings above her children. She was also lectured by the judge for trying to keep Brad away from their kids. You have to admit, none of this paints her in the greatest light.

In Angelina's Defense

What most people seem to forget about the plane incident is that it wasn't Angelina who launched the child abuse investigation. The allegations came from an "anonymous source" who witnessed the altercation on the tarmac. Although the actor was cleared of any wrongdoing, and audio from the flight never revealed a fight happened, Brad himself admitted that something happened on that plane. "There was a parent-child argument which was not handled in the right way and escalated more than it should have," his rep told People. "He is emphatic that it did not reach the level of physical abuse, that no one was physically harmed. He did not hit his child in the face in any way... He put his hands on him, yes, because the confrontation was spiraling out of control."

Notice, though, that he admitted he did put his hands on his son at one point. He also later admitted in his famous GQ profile to having a drinking problem that has affected him for years. Although no father should be kept from his kids, people forget that most of his children, especially his sons, don't want to see him. It's also suspicious that, nearly two years after the "plane incident," Brad still isn't allowed unsupervised visitation.

Although Angelina has been petty with her public custody filings, Brad has been equally vindictive by smearing his ex-wife's name in the media via his many reps. All of the most scathing articles against Angelina have been published in Page Six, which is no coincidence. 

They both are clearly playing the game, and no person is more innocent than the other.

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3. She "stole" Brad from Jennifer Aniston.

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Source: Getty Images

Despite everything, this is still the main reason most people hate Angelina. After the demise of Brad's marriage to Jennifer Aniston, many thought Angie's actions, like appearing in a poorly-timed family spread with Brad or bragging about how the two fell in love on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, were in poor taste.

In Angelina's Defense

No offense to Jennifer, but it was Brad who made a vow to not cheat on her, not Angelina. Sure, hooking up with married men is in poor taste, but it also happened 12 years ago. Can't people move on?

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4. She "stole" Billy Bob Thornton from Laura Dern.

angelina jolie billybob
Source: Getty Images

Before the Brangelina debacle, Angelina was "the other woman" yet again when she married Billy Bob Thornton while he was still engaged to actress Laura Dern. "I left our home to work on a movie, and while I was away, my boyfriend got married," Laura said back then. "I never heard from him again."

Laura's friend, musician Melissa Etheridge, even spoke out against Angie about it. "I was around when Angelina was not doing nice things with Billy Bob to Laura Dern," she said on Andy Cohen Live. "I helped Laura move out of her house with Billy Bob—I broke into their home to get their stuff out because it was so nasty."

In Angelina's Defense

If anything, all of this reflects badly on Billy Bob, not Angelina, who was only 25 back then. Billy was 45.

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5. She had a wild past.

angelina jolie brother
Source: Getty Images

Before becoming "Saint Angie," the actress was known for smooching her brother, wearing vials of blood around her neck, and being a bit of a wild child. Although this happened decades ago, her biggest critics love to bring up her past as an example of her "true" nature.

In Angelina's Defense

The actress and humanitarian was only in her early 20s while she went through her public "wild phase," a period that, today, she looks back on with humor and embarrassment. "She has a great sense of irony about herself," journalist Tom Brokaw said about Angie. "During one of our first interviews she was very frank about her past and had a charming ability to mock her rebellious childhood. She sort of shakes her head at what a wild child she was."

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6. She doesn't have any famous friends.

angelina jolie no friends
Source: Getty Images

Usually your friends reflect the kind of person you are, but Angelina has very few, and she has zero Hollywood friends. "I stay home a lot," she told Marie Claire. "I'm not really social … I'll talk to my family. I talk to Brad … But I don't know, I don't have a lot of friends I talk to. He is really the only person I talk to." Brad, on the other hand, who seems to be loved by everyone, is still chummy with former co-stars, like George Clooney and Edward Norton, and was even given a standing ovation by his peers when he appeared at the Golden Globes last year. Where's the love for Angelina?

In Angelina's Defense

Brad doesn't have many friends either, apparently. “I have very few friends,” he told Esquire in 2013. “I have a handful of close friends and I have my family and I haven’t known life to be any happier." It's common for a lot of people, especially as they grow older, to shrink their social circles. With Angelina and Brad in their 40s and 50s, respectively, and with a clown car worth of kids, it's no surprise the couple don't have tons of friends, and I don't think that reflects poorly on either of them.

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7. She manipulates the press.

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Source: Getty Images

Angie's savvy media tactics are pretty well-known today. The New York Times published an exposé in 2008 about how she crafts her perfect public image. "Ms. Jolie expertly walks a line between known entity and complete mystery, cultivates relationships with friendly reporters and even sets up her own photo shoots for the paparazzi," the paper reported. "Most skillfully, she dictates terms to celebrity magazines involving their coverage of her and her family, editors say, creating an awkward situation for publications that try to abide by strict journalistic standards."

She famously forced People to adhere to a strict "editorial plan" when she gave them exclusive permission to publish baby photos. One of the stipulations was that they couldn't use the word "Brangelina" and their coverage had to focus on Angelina's humanitarian efforts. 

In Angelina's Defense

It's important to keep in mind that all of this happened after the hoopla of Brad and Angelina's relationship. Already receiving the brunt of the negative press, Angelina saw an opportunity to exploit the extra media attention and use it for something good. "We wanted to use the interest in her personal life to influence people to pay attention to important issues," Trevor Neilson, Angie's philanthropic adviser, told The New York Times. "If Angie can use the interest and redirect it, she wants to do that."

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8. Her "saint" image is a facade.

saint angie
Source: Getty Images

The cynics out there believe Angelina's humanitarian efforts were appropriately timed to steer negative press away from her alleged affair and toward her charity work. Earlier this year, Page Six remarked that Angie is "no saint" and that she's been a cunning, manipulative shrew the whole time. "It doesn’t matter how much charity work you do,” a source told the publication. “If you drive a wedge between a father and his children, you’re an a–hole."

In Angelina's Defense

Her humanitarian efforts actually started before Brad, and she originally thought all the negative publicity would overshadow the charities she was trying to help. “It was during a time when there was a lot of gossip about me,” she admitted to The Wall Street Journal. “I told [the United Nations] I didn’t think they realized what they’d be bringing upon the agency, that a lot of people didn’t see me the same way they did, and I thought it would be a negative.” 

Since then, Angie's charitable contributions have forgone what the average Hollywood star does. "[Most celebrities] stop at one tent and hold a baby,” Marie-Noelle Little-Boyer, a U.N. external relations officer, told the same publication. “That’s precisely not what these trips are with [Angelina]. It’s just refugees and her in this intimate space. There’s no place for anything Hollywood or celebrity.”

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9. Her movies are box-office bombs.

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Source: Getty Images

Although she doesn't act much these days, Angelina has never been a major box office draw. In fact, most of her movies are complete duds, which might explain why she's fallen out of favor with most of Hollywood. In their eyes, Angelina is someone with not enough talent or fans to be as demanding as she is.

In Angelina's Defense

Angie has stopped making blockbuster action movies in favor of foreign movies that she directs herself. The movies aren't hugely successful, but they tell stories she thinks deserve to be told. "I’m not sure she ever really enjoyed acting, but was doing it more for her respect for artists and her mother, who loved the art,” Brad said about her during happier times. “With writing and directing, she has discovered her own joy within it."

In fact, when it came to her film By the Sea, a movie she wrote, directed, and starred in alongside Brad, her motivations were kind of sad. "[Brad and I] had met working together and we worked together well," she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015. "I wanted us to do some serious work together...I thought it would be a good way for us to communicate. In some ways it was, and in some ways we learned some things."

Considering the couple divorced a year later, the whole thing now sounds bittersweet. In an attempt to recreate the magic she and Brad had on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, she created a second movie that unfortunately didn't recapture the same magic. 

"A piece of art can be something that's healing or something that's difficult," she said in the same interview. "I don't know. I'm glad we did that film because we did explore something together. Whatever it was, maybe it didn't solve certain things."

Maybe instead of being "team" anyone, we should accept the fact that, when it comes to the demise of a marriage, there are no clear winners or losers.

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