Split sparks social media frenzy

NEW YORK • The end of actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's grand Hollywood romance is huge - bigger than the United Nations General Assembly on social media.

On Tuesday, with the announcement of the split, the hashtag #Brangelina quickly became the top trending item on Twitter, with fans reacting to the news with a range of emotions, including laments over the death of love; complaints that the news was superseding United States President Barack Obama's speech at the UN; and theories that the news was a welcome distraction from the presidential campaign.

#Brangelina was mentioned roughly 720 times a minute on Twitter, more than triple the mentions of the UN General Assembly, according to the analytics firm Zoomph.

The media reacted with surprise and sadness to the split. "Today shall go down as the day love died," Vogue magazine said in an online report.

But the spotlight on social media was also on actress Jennifer Aniston, Pitt's former wife. Memes and gifs of an ecstatic Aniston flooded Twitter and Facebook, including one of her on the phone saying: "And that, my friend, is what they call closure."

Performing at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, soul-pop superstar Adele paused to dedicate her sold-out show to Brangelina.

It feels like the end of an era, so I’m dedicating this show tonight to them.


"Let's not ignore the elephant in the room," she was quoted as saying by Us Weekly. "Did everybody hear about Brad and Angelina? It feels like the end of an era, so I'm dedicating this show tonight to them."

One fan took to Twitter and wrote: "Now #Adele is leading us all in a group Brangelina breakup therapy session. Also, there are songs."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2016, with the headline 'Split sparks social media frenzy'. Print Edition | Subscribe