Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are professional actors, people who made the conscious decision to pursue careers that would involve existing in the limelight, even when they’d likely rather be left alone. Their 18-year-old son Maddox did not, and it’s time to leave him the hell alone.
Weeks after his mom dropped him off at Yonsi University in South Korea, Maddox Jolie-Pitt was accosted by a reporter who found him on campus. The paparazzo then asked if his dad would be visiting him at school, which is a pretty fucked up thing to ask a kid who you know has a less than stellar relationship with his dad.
“I don’t know about that,” was Maddox’s response as the smile he had when asked about his siblings was replaced by an expression of discomfort and an unwillingness to make eye contact with his interlocutor.
Then this guy asks an even more personal question—”Is your relationship with him sort of over?”—and gets a noncommittal response—”Whatever happens happens”— because what else is he supposed to say?
It’s this moment that gives the lie to the “interview” as a journalistic endeavor. It’s voyeurism, pure and simple, and the chance to commodify the discomfort and real pain of a college freshman who, by happenstance, has a life experience that can be captured and sold by media vultures.
It, in a word, sucks. There are plenty of things that would be profitable but that we as a society have decided aren’t worth the non-economic costs. Let’s add accosting the children of celebrities when they’re trying to get to class to that list.