Yeah. Star Magazine Went There.
In celebrity “journalism,” there are few rules. An Us Weekly article on, say, Jennifer Aniston wanting to adopt a baby could be filled with nothing but quotes from unnamed sources. Cover lines asserting that “Sandra Bullock Takes Jesse Back!” or “Jessica Simpson Is Getting Cold Feet!” often pertain to a story that says something far less OMG, like that Sandra and Jesse supposedly had a pleasant phone conversation or Jessica was spotted looking “sad” one day. But generally, when it comes to children — specifically the children of celebrities — tabloid magazines play it safe, focusing on photos of the tots looking adorable or incredibly wordy stories about their extravagant birthday parties. But not Star! This week’s issue of the magazine features a cover story alleging that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie‘s twins, Vivienne and Knox, have Down Syndrome. A story like this doesn’t just toe the line of inappropriate, it crosses it, loops back around, and crosses it again. For starters, the magazine offers up no proof to support their claim, aside from a former nanny claiming the twins “take longer to grasp things” than the other kids and that Angelina allegedly got pissed when those concerns were brought to her attention. But even if they had rock solid proof that their story was factually correct, I would still consider running a story like this to be utterly deplorable. Until Angelina and Brad Pitt release a statement saying that their two children have Down Syndrome, you not only don’t speculate that they do, but you don’t explicitly claim they do, especially without irrefutable proof. These are kids we’re talking about, and their physical and/or mental health is not anyone’s business but their own and their parents. While I think it’s in poor taste to speculate or make baseless claims about anyone’s health, adult celebrities can at least take some responsibility for the fame that makes them a source of public obsession. But celebrity children like Knox and Vivienne didn’t sign up to be the spawn of America’s most beloved/famous/hottest actor and actress and they certainly don’t deserve to have their mental and/or physical well-being gossiped about. [Dlisted]