Did Angelina Jolie exploit children for film casting?

By Alexa Caruso on July 28, 2017 | 2 Comments

Angelina JolieOne of Hollywood’s most famous stars is being accused of exploiting Cambodian children for a new film.

Angelina Jolie, who is also a UNICEF ambassador and known for her many charitable causes, is under fire after the public is learning the odd and seemingly cruel casting process used for her upcoming film First They Killed My Father.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, the bizarre casting process was explained. Looking specifically for children who had “experienced hardship,” it apparently had casting directors visiting slums schools, orphanages and circuses.

The article elaborates further, reading, “The casting directors set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something they needed the money for, and then to snatch it away. The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie.”

What’s even more heartbreaking is what Angelina reveals the reason the film’s main star, child actress Srey Moch, was chosen, who, in going through the casting process, ended up reliving a childhood trauma.

Tearing up, Angelina said, “Srey Moch was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time. When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back. When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.”

For obvious reasons, many are sounding off on social media about the cruel way in which these children were targeted for their traumatic upbringing and then later forced to channel that in the hopes of being cast in a film. Check out some of the tweets below.

Do you think the casting process was exploitative, cruel and/or unnecessary? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below. ~Alexa Caruso

Comments & Discussion

  1. Georgina • July 28, 2017 @ 2:30 PM

    I don’t see this as exploitation. Actors are given a number of aids to help them recall memories in order to act a scene. If the problem is that they’re children, let’s ban children from working as actors. Have adults play children. I don’t see a problem with that, it happens on stage often enough.

  2. Leann • August 7, 2017 @ 7:36 PM

    I found this a bit cruel. Angelina should have known better and found a casting process that was much more humane for these children. The children that aren’t cast, have to still live with the effects of the casting process dredging up these traumatic events. They are CHILDREN in horrible circumstances. It’s not right, not for a stupid movie. How can anyone morally justify this?

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