Angelina Jolie-Pitt, the actress, and wife of Brad Pitt will soon take on the role of a Professor at the London School of Economics. She will be one of four visiting professors in a new master’s program focused on issues linked to the Center for Women, Peace and Security (CWPS), an organization that seeks to protect men and women from sexual violence.
CWPS likens sexual violence to war crimes like genocide, slavery and torture and urges the governments of various countries to eradicate the practice at all costs. The group has stated, “Sexual violence in conflict ruins lives, destroys families, breaks up communities and prevents societies from achieving sustainable peace. In no other area is our collective failure to ensure effective protection for civilians more apparent than in terms of the masses of women and girls, but also boys and men, whose lives are destroyed each year by sexual violence perpetrated in conflict.”
The university is apparently not concerned with the academic credentials of their “professors”– Ms. Pitt has none. She has, however, frequently spoken out about the subject of violence and women and disclosed her own experiences with depression, anxiety and a strained relationship with her father– information that is consistent with the protocol of battered women, whether true or not. But her meager academic credentials make it appear as if the college is trying to cash in on her fame and she is eager to dispel the stain of pseudo-enlightenment often attached to celebrities. It is one thing to use star power to attract interest to a cause but something else to use the person to substantively illuminate the core and meaning of the issue. In Pitt’s case, it seems to us, she is spreading herself too thin, and it is starting to show on all fronts, including her acting and directing.