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Angelina Jolie: exposure or agenda?

entertainment Updated: May 19, 2013 01:58 IST
Hindustan Times
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Recently, Hollywood’s leading lady Angelina Jolie announced that she has undergone a double mastectomy (surgical removal of both breasts) as she is genetically prone to develop breast cancer. Jolie wrote in the Op-Ed page of New York Times that she tested positive for a genetic mutation BRCA1, which exposed her to a high risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer. The actor’s mother died at 56, after a decade long fight with cancer. Her announcement drew flak from medical experts saying it could spur a trend towards breasts removal.

Nothing heroic
Now,, a health portal, has made a startling claim that Jolie’s mastectomy announcement is a part of a well-crafted PR campaign. ‘EXPOSED: Angelina Jolie part of a clever corporate scheme to protect billions in BRCA gene patents, influence Supreme Court decision (opinion),’ reads the headline of the article on the portal. The actor’s revelation, is not the innocent, spontaneous, heroic choice, as has been portrayed’, says the site.

The writer says that the announcement coincides with a well-timed for-profit corporate PR campaign that coincides with the upcoming US Supreme Court decision whether to allow the BRCA1 patent. The article points out that the actor’s Op-Ed piece in New York Times is a highly polished and obviously corporate-written op-ed piece, and uses politically-charged keyword, such as, choice, stronger, pride and family. The article also claims that the appearance of Angelina Jolie’s mastectomy announcement on People Magazine’s cover that is usually sealed for printing three weeks before it hits newsstands, is a strategy.

The writer finally pops the big question, what could the actor seek by joining a clever corporate PR campaign designed to influence public opinion, about trillions of dollars in corporate profits?, asks the writer.

The writer also lists the impact Jolie’s announcement has already generated, women everywhere terrified of breast cancer, rushing for the expensive BRCA1 gene testing procedures. Her revelation has also driven public opinion to influence the upcoming US SC decision to rule in favour of corporate ownership of human genes, says the writer.