Please Just Let Brad Pitt Have Friends Who Are Women

If the world assumed every person of the opposite sex you hung out with at a public event was your significant other...well, that would probably make you Brad Pitt. This week, the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actor was rumored to be dating Alia Shawkat of Arrested Development fame, simply because she and Pitt happened to be in the same place at the same time. 
This week, pictures from the “L.A. on Fire” art exhibition at the Wilding Cran Gallery in Los Angeles surfaced that show Pitt and Shawkat hanging out together while taking in the art. They aren’t alone in the photos, but that didn’t stop tabloids from musing that they may be a new couple, citing “multiple” other hang outs in recent weeks. Shortly after the news broke, however, a source told People that the two are “absolutely just friends.” 
This sounds pretty familiar. In September, rumors swirled that Pitt was allegedly “seeing” jewelry designer Sat Hari Khalsa after she was spotted with him at the Ad Astra after party. A source for E! denied the claim, and instead stated that the two are merely friends. Khalsa — whom the outlet described as a “breath of fresh air and spirituality in [Pitt’s] life” — is reportedly providing the actor “with some guidance.”
This follows a story from 2018 which claimed Pitt was dating MIT professor Neri Oxman, who later clarified that she had never dated the actor, and is already married. 
Is there some sort of hand signal that Pitt can give us so we can know when he’s on a date and when he’s just hanging out with a woman in a casual social setting? I’m sure we can figure something out, but until then, maybe we should just remind ourselves that Pitt is allowed to have friends of all genders without the world assuming they’re in the throes of romance.
Refinery29 reached out to Pitt and Shawkat for comment.

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