The Problem With Joking About Jennifer Aniston's Response to Brad and Angelina's Divorce
It didn't take long after the news broke on Tuesday that Angelina Jolie had filed for divorce from Brad Pitt for the GIFs and memes to flood the internet. Not just GIFs reacting to their breakup, but about how people imagined Jennifer Aniston was reacting: with a smirk and some satisfaction.
Angelina and Brad met on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith in 2004 when he was married to Jennifer. The following year, Brad and Jennifer divorced, dividing the pop culture world into Team Jennifer and Team Angelina camps. So it's no surprise that people would be looking to Jennifer for a reaction (or at least imagining her reaction), and many of the tweets have been funny in a "what goes around comes around" sort of way.
But the whole idea that Jennifer would be so invested in the Jolie-Pitt drama is also insulting. It's reminiscent of when other successful women like Selena Gomez are constantly asked about their exes. Just because you had a long-term relationship with someone doesn't mean you should be forever associated with — or defined by — the details of his or her life.
Oliver Willis, a fellow at the research group Media Matters For America, summed up this idea in a popular tweet:
maybe jennifer aniston doesnt care because she's been a very successful actress on her own and that was a relationship from long ago
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) September 20, 2016
Recall that in 2015, Jennifer talked to ET about the public's obsession with her supposed rivalry with Angelina. "I think that it's time people stop with that petty BS," she said. "It's just tiresome and old." Now imagine her getting dragged back into the drama after she's long moved on and is now married to Justin Theroux. We expect her reaction to her continued association with Brad's life to go a little something like:
(But really, we've reached out to her team for comment and will let you know if we hear back.)