Angelina Jolie Moving Into Politics?

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43-year-old Oscar winner Angelina Jolie appeared on BBC’s Radio 4 “Today” program as guest editor on Friday, Dec. 28, 2018.

Presenter Justin Webb interviewed the actress on a variety of topics which ranged from United States politics, the global refugee crisis, sexual violence, and social media.

During the interview, she stated that she had not ruled out a political future. Politics is in Jolie’s blood. After years of dedicated service to The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the humanitarian was appointed Special Envoy in April 2012. She has also been outspoken on sexual violence and conservation issues.

As part of her Special Envoy position, she visited West Mosul in June. This was less than a year since it was liberated from the Islamic State group. Her purpose was to observe the devastation left behind, report it, and bring awareness to the issue.

Jolie directed the 2017 movie “First They Killed My Father,” a story was about Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung,  who grew up under the rule of the Khmer Rough. The film was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Film.

In November 2017, she also produced an animated film entitled “The Breadwinner.” The film was about a teen living under Taliban rule who was struggling to support her family, based on the best-selling novel by Deborah Ellis. The movie had its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.

When questioned directly whether she would consider becoming involved in politics, she stated that if she was asked 20 years ago she would have laughed at the thought. Furthermore, she honestly did not think she was a fit for it.

Jokingly she stated to Webb that she has no skeletons left in her closet that could derail a run for office. The star thought about her future and told the audience that she can take a lot on the chin and that she would do whatever she can to make a change.

Jolie went on to discuss her important work with the UN and how she does a lot of work with people in need. She discussed how she works with various government officials and the military. The California actress is happy with her role because she gets to get a lot done without having a particular title and without it being about herself. Also, she stressed she would go where needed.

Webb asked if she would be part of the field of 30-40 Democrats running for president. She replied, thank you, refusing to answer the question directly.

The conversation turned to the America First Agenda and the rise of nationalism under Donald Trump.  Jolie was quick to draw a distinction between patriotism and nationalism. She felt that she is a patriot and an internationalist. Jolie adds that she loves and values other people and other countries. She also feels that to be a patriot it is to be very proud of your country and even your country first. However,  one does not think their country is better than others.

Jolie, a mother of six children, also discussed the common problem most parents face, such as monitoring her children’s social media activities. She openly admitted she cannot control everything her children are exposed to.

She proclaimed that she is the last family that has not joined Facebook. None of her children have asked to sign up.

Jolie is serving as an executive producer of a new current affairs program on the BBC for children entitled “Our World.” It is scheduled to be piloted in 2019 with 10 half-hour episodes.

The goal of the program is to engage 7 to 12-year-old children in international news. The show will focus on subjects such as the environment, social media, and technology.  The hope is to help the children gain a greater understanding and awareness.

Initially, the show will be produced in English. If it is a success, the BBC will find partners to translate the program into multiple languages.

In regards to the upcoming show, she stated that, as a mother, she is happy to have a show she will be able to watch together with her children and know they are getting a real picture of what is happening around the world.

Jolie also feels that it is important to introduce the next generation to impartial, objective, fact-based news. Children are exposed to a lot of opinions that are not necessarily factual. She is aware that no parent can completely protect their children from fake news. What can be done is to teach them how to distinguish the real from the fake and to ask questions.

Written by Barbara Sobel
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware


The Hill: Angelina Jolie won’t rule out politics: ‘I’ll go where I’m needed’
The BBC: Angelina Jolie hints at move into politics
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