Angelina Jolie is refuting a controversial anecdote in a recent Vanity Fair profile of the actress, which she claims is inaccurate and upsetting to her. The excerpt in question described a "game" used during the casting process of her new film, First They Killed My Father, about a child soldier in the Cambodian army during the Khmer Rouge regime.
In a statement to the Huffington Post, Jolie said, "I am upset that a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film, has been written about as if it was a real scenario." Jolie goes on to clarify that "parents, guardians, partner NGOs whose job it is to care for children, and medical doctors were always on hand everyday" to ensure the safety of the children throughout filming and the casting process.
The Vanity Fair profile described the casting process for the children in the film as seeking out children who had specifically "experienced hardship," and then putting money on the table in front of them, asking them to think of something they needed the money for, and then taking the money away. "The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting. I would be outraged myself if this had happened," Jolie said in the statement.
The film, which is set to be released on Netflix later this year, has also come under fire for reportedly using soldiers from the controversial Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in the movie. Brad Adams, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Asia Division, told New York Magazine last week that, if this is true, it's problematic. He said, "working with the Cambodian army is a no-go zone, it's a red flag, and it's a terrible mistake."
Jolie's statement to the Huffington Post did not address this allegation, but did say that, "The point of this film is to bring attention to the horrors children face in war, and to help fight to protect them."
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