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.”
– Gwyneth Paltrow speaking about Twitter insults in an interview with Re/Code
Gwyneth Paltrow is definitely not a bad person. She’s a very good actress, and judging by the way she speaks about her kids, a very good mother. That being said, Gwyneth really doesn’t know when to shut up in public.
And sadly, that’s now most of the time.
One would think that Gwyneth had learned her lesson about privileged whining and massively overt pretentiousness given the roasting she took over lecturing working mothers on not exercising and her ‘conscious uncoupling’ from Chris Martin. But no, Gwyneth has come out swinging for the coddled elite, making the stupendously insensitive assertion that receiving nasty comments on Twitter was akin to getting one’s legs blown off in war.
Presumably, it was an offhand comment that Paltrow hadn’t really thought about. But then Paltrow seems to make a lot of offhand, unintentionally-offensive comments that she hasn’t thought about.
Green Beret Bryan Sikes posted the following open letter to Paltrow, and despite it being on a pretty awful rightwing site, he articulates just how insulting her comments are, particularly to those who have been sent to war. Here’s the letter in full:
To Miss Paltrow,
I’d first like to start out by saying how terrible I feel for you and all your friends that on a daily basis have to endure mean words written by people you don’t know. I can only imagine the difficulty of waking up in a 12,000 square foot Hollywood home and having your assistant retrieve your iPhone, only to see that the battery is low and someone on twitter (the social media concept that you and all of your friends contribute to on an hourly basis to feed your ego and narcissistic ways), has written a mean word or 2 about you. You’ve hit the nail on the head, war is exactly like that. You should receive a medal for the burden you have carried on your shoulders due to these meanies on social media.
You said, “Its almost like, how in war, you go through this bloody dehumanizing thing and then something is defined out of it.” I could see how you, and others like you in “the biz”, could be so insecure and mentally weak that you could pair the difficulty of your life on twitter to my brothers who have had their limbs ripped off and seen their friends shot, blown up, burned and disfigured, or wake up every morning in pain – while just starting the day is a challenge. How about our wives? The ones that sign on to be there for us through thick and thin, that help us to shake the hardships of war upon our return? And do all this while being mothers to our kids, keeping bills in order because we are always gone, and keeping our lives glued together. They do all this, by the way, without a team of accountants, nanny’s, personal assistants, and life coaches. Yeah, reading a mean tweet is just like all that.
You know what is really “dehumanizing”, Miss Paltrow? The fact that you’d even consider that your life as an “A-list” celebrity reading internet comments could even compare to war and what is endured on the battlefield. You and the other “A-listers” that think like you are laughable. You all have actually convinced yourselves that you in some way face difficulty on a regular basis. Let me be the first to burst your bubble: a long line at Starbucks, your driver being 3 minutes late, a scuff mark on your $1200 shoes and a mean tweet do not constitute difficulty in the eyes of a soldier.
Understand me when I say this: war does not define me. It is a chapter in my life that helped shaped me. Being a husband and father is what defines me. Remember, sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never…be close to what war is.
As an A-list Hollywood actress, Paltrow undoubtedly has a highly skilled management team that carefully control her public image.
So here’s a message for them: guys, you’re not doing a very good job.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.