At this point, I have to believe Gwyneth Paltrow is punking us all. One person can't possibly be capable of so many annoying, headline-making quotes, right? I mean, who really believes being an insanely rich actress is harder than being a regular working mom? Who says the sun can't possibly damage you because it's natural? Who implies our country's reaction to 9/11 was over the top? ("I find the English amazing how they got over 7/7. There were no multiple memorials with people sobbing as they would have been in America.") Gwyneth's entire public persona has got to be an elaborate prank, right?
Because that's the only explanation I can come up with for Gwyneth Paltrow's latest comments about how being a celebrity who endures online criticism is like being a war veteran. If you're already balling up your fists a little, you have a kindred soul in Cindy McCain, wife of Sen. John McCain.
Paltrow was speaking about Internet trolls at Re/code's Code Conference this Tuesday, and she said that she views anonymous criticism as a reflection on the person rather than herself:
It’s taken me a long time to get to the point where I can see these things and not take it as a personal affront and a hurt. I see myself as a chalkboard or a whiteboard or a screen, and someone is just putting up their own projection on it. It has nothing to do with me. They have an internal object, and they’re putting it on me. I kind of look at it as, ‘Wow this is an interesting social experiment.’ You’re talking about a blind stranger having feelings about you. It can only be projection.
I don't disagree with this point of view, but then she took it a little too far with this:
You come across [online comments] about yourself and about your friends, and it’s a very dehumanizing thing. It’s almost like how, in war, you go through this bloody, dehumanizing thing, and then something is defined out of it.
Okay, I want to give her the benefit of the doubt and say that I get what she meant ... but oh my god COME ON. I just can't believe she's learned so little from being repeatedly raked over the coals for her insensitive, privileged comments that seem custom-designed to make people want to slap her across the face with a fishmonger-delivered halibut. Maybe Paltrow just views all criticism as trolling at this point and never stops to consider that when eight million people are saying she sounds like an asshole, she just might be an asshole.
Sen. John McCain's wife Cindy McCain definitely seems to be in the anti-Gwyneth camp, based on the following tweets:
Gweneth Paltrow is a joke. Her life is like taking bullets for a soldier. What a joke! My 2 sons serving in the military should talk to her.— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) May 29, 2014
Perhaps Gweneth Paltrow should go out on patrol with some soldiers. Kind of like a Red Carpet in her mind I guess!— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) May 29, 2014
Personally, I think McCain took the comments a tiny bit too seriously -- but I'm not remotely surprised they caused offense to people who have actually been affected by war. It was just a cringeworthy comparison, however good Paltrow's intentions may have been. But the question is, will she see the criticism from veterans and others as worthy of consideration ... or will she write it off as "projection"?
What do you think of Gwyneth Paltrow's war comparison?
Image via elhormiguerotv/Flickr