Vanity Fair Claps Back at Angelina Jolie, Stands by Its Story of Child Casting

After reviewing audiotape of the interview with Jolie, the magazine refuses to remove a section of the feature which depicted the controversial casting process for 'First They Killed My Father'.

AceShowbiz - Vanity Fair has responded to Angelina Jolie's comment on its cover story about the child casting for her movie "First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers". The actress/director previously claimed that the magazine's depiction of the auditions was "false and upsetting."

Her lawyer contacted the magazine on August 1, saying that contributing editor Evgenia Peretz had "mistakenly" reported the incident. The lawyer also asked V.F. to run a statement which partly read, "The casting crew showed the children the camera and sound recording material, explaining to them that they were going to be asked to act out a part. ... The children were not tricked as some have suggested. ... All of the children auditioning were made aware of the fictional aspect of the exercise and were tended to at all times by relatives or guardians from NGOs. ... We apologize for any misunderstanding."

Jolie's lawyer additionally asked the publication to remove the original paragraph from the online story and add corrections both online and in print. However, after reviewing the transcript and audiotape of Peretz's interview with Jolie, "V.F. stands by Peretz's story as published." It also publishes a transcript of the relevant section of the interview to support its story.

The story run by V.F. said that casting directors "set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism" in order to find the movie's young lead. "They put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she 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."

Producer Rithy Panh later clarified in a statement that "ahead of the screen tests, the casting crew showed the children the camera and the sound recording material. It explained to them that they were going to be asked to act out a part: to pretend to steal petty cash or a piece of food left unattended and then get caught in the act."

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