What Brad Pitt Has Said About His Distant Cousin Barack Obama

While it isn't uncommon for Hollywood stars to publicly back political candidates they believe in, when actor Brad Pitt shared his thoughts on Barack Obama during the years of his presidency, he wasn't just talking about a politician; he was talking about his cousin. Pitt and Obama are in fact ninth cousins on Obama's mother's side, as shown in a family tree published in The Guardian

Back in 2009, early in President Obama's first term in The White House and just a few short years after Hurricane Katrina laid waste to New Orleans, Pitt visited Obama to discuss the movie star's plans for helping to revive and rebuild the great southern city. Later that same year, Pitt and his then-wife Angelina Jolie were photographed in The Oval Office when the Hollywood couple were in D.C. to screen Jolie's film about Bosnian war crimes. They met with the then-president on this trip to discuss Jolie's work on preventing large-scale wartime atrocities and violence against women.

While it already seemed, based on these visits at the time, that Pitt thought highly of Obama, the actor became an outspoken supporter of his politician cousin a few years later when Obama was running for his second term.    

Pitt was in awe of Obama

In her 2012 book "The Obamas," author Jodi Kantor tells her readers that when Brad Pitt visited The Oval Office in 2009, he was in "respectful awe" of his distant cousin Barack Obama. And while second-hand reports may be true, Brad Pitt himself also began to speak openly in 2012 about his respect and support for Obama as he sought to earn a second term in The White House.  

In late 2012, Brad Pitt released a joint statement with Danny Glover, John Legend, and Russell Simmons, referencing what he called Obama's "more sensible" drug policy, stating, "President Obama should be commended for expressing the will of the people ... Our jails are overburdened with nonviolent drug users in this country, too often serving harsher sentences than violent criminals. This defies all common and economic sense." The statement went on to say that the president's policy "reflects a saner and more sensible drug policy, and a step away from the decades long failed war on drugs."

But Obama's policies on laws and prison sentences for drug offenses were not the only thing about his politics that Pitt appreciated. 

Pitt says his own mother was wrong about Obama

Brad Pitt even went so far as to publicly disagree with his own mother in order to defend Barack Obama and his political platform. If you never knew about Brad Pitt's mom, 2012 probably changed that. Jane Pitt, who is a devout Christian, was open about supporting Mitt Romney for the presidency in the 2012 election in which he had run against Obama, calling the sitting president "a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage" (via CBS). 

While earlier in the year, Brad Pitt had defended his mother in the media and spoke highly of her to The Hollywood Reporter, calling her "very, very loving — very open, genuine," he disagreed with her stance on President Obama and was not afraid to say so (via CBS). 

At a London screening of his film "Killing Them Softly," shortly after Jane Pitt's statements, Brad Pitt made a point to publicly separate his views from those of his mother, saying (via The Telegraph), "I am an Obama supporter and I'm backing his U.S. election campaign." He went on to say that, "Gay marriage is inevitable. The next generation, they get it. It is just a matter of time before it becomes a reality," which we now know proved to be true; after all, it was Sasha and Malia Obama who helped change Barack Obama's mind and encourage him to support nationwide same-sex marriage.