Some critics slammed the actress, probably one of the most well-known humanitarians in the world, for the poor timing of the announcement. People on social media accused her of essentially sabotaging a United Nations refugee summit, which was underway when the news broke.
The U.N.’s 71st General Assembly, which officially kicked off on Sept. 13, is particularly significant this year. It’s the first-ever U.N. summit dedicated to migrants and refugees, an issue that’s at the center of Jolie’s activism work.
President Barack Obama addressed the U.N. on Tuesday, the very day of the Bragelina divorce brouhaha. Obama announced some of the funding programs that will support the estimated 65 million people around the world who have been displaced from their homes due to violence and persecution.
Some skeptics on Twitter suggested that Jolie, the special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), had intentionally distracted the world from that news.
But as the Sydney Morning Herald pointed out, Jolie had no more control over the release of the divorce news than she did over the caustic responses directed her way.
TMZ broke the news of her split from actor Brad Pitt, and Jolie’s lawyer simply confirmed it.
Jolie has committed more than a decade to supporting refugees and other underserved groups. She’s even addressed ― and confronted ― the U.N. for its seeming lack of action when it comes to the crisis in the past.
It’s probably safe to say that Jolie didn’t want the news of her crumbling personal life to overshadow the work world leaders are doing this week to solve the refugee situation.
Oh, and here’s a quick refresher of some of Jolie’s humanitarian efforts:
The award-winning actress served as a U.N. goodwill ambassador for 11 years.
In 2012, she was named special envoy to the UNHCR.
She adopted three children –- Maddox from Cambodia, Pax from Vietnam and Zahara from Ethiopia (whose parents died from AIDS).
While visiting a refugee camp in northern Iraq last year, Jolie made two short documentaries about women captured by ISIS.
The Jolie-Pitt Foundation has made a number of significant donations, including a $330,000 donation to SOS Children’s Villages, which supports orphaned and abandoned children.
Next year, Jolie will teach a course on ending violence against women in conflict at the London School of Economics.
Jolie took the U.N. to task last year and flat-out said: “We are failing to save lives in Syria.”
So, yeah, if the noise across tabloids and news outlets surrounding the split detracted from reports coming out of the U.N. this week, I think we know who to blame.