Gwyneth Paltrow: Online comments are dehumanizing -- like war


Gwyneth Paltrow is back in the hot seat over correlating sharp-tongued Internet comments to the dehumanizing experiences of warfare.

The polarizing Oscar winner, who most recently catalyzed resounding groans with the notion of “conscious uncoupling” when she and husband Chris Martin split in March, made her latest existential remarks during the Code Conference this week.

“The Internet is an amazing opportunity, socially. We have this opportunity to mature and learn, which is the essence of being on earth — to being the closest person we can be to our actual, real, truest self,” she told Re/Code ahead of her Tuesday speech at the conference. “But the Internet also allows us the opportunity to project outward our hatred, our jealousy. It’s culturally acceptable to be an anonymous commenter. It’s culturally acceptable to say, ‘I’m just going to take all of my internal pain and externalize it anonymously.’”


The “Iron Man 3” star said that our culture “is trying to wrestle with the idea that everybody has a voice, and how it’s unimportant and really important at the same time.” She compared it to being in a “very adolescent phase” in which people are unable to figure out why certain things matter to them or why they have opinions about something like “Angelina Jolie’s operation” (Her example, not ours.)

The 41-year-old GOOP founder addressed her awareness of that animosity toward her and her lofty and rarefied lifestyle. And that’s when the war comparison came along — with a few token Goop-isms for good measure.

“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,” she said. “My hope is, as we get out of it, we’ll reach the next level of conscience.”

Paltrow elaborated on the comments during her speech at the tech conferrence saying that they started as an “objectification” and “dehumanization” and also called out Facebook’s origins as a place to judge women online when it first started. She also called herself and celebrities “annoying.”

Despite that, the actress said she’s been able to move on from vitriol she gets online, noting that it’s taken her a long time to be able to get past what people say about her 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,” she said. “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.”


However, her words have not only drawn the ire of Paltrow haters but also that of Cindy McCain, wife of Arizona Sen. John McCain, a former war veteran.

“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,” McCain tweeted, adding, “Perhaps Gweneth Paltrow should go out on patrol with some soldiers. Kind of like a Red Carpet in her mind I guess!”

Last March, Paltrow also miffed observers and gave rise to the “mommy wars” with her comments about life being “much harder” as a celebrity mom.

“I think it’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening,” she told E! News. “When you’re shooting a movie, they’re like, ‘We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,’ and then you work 14 hours a day and that part of it is very difficult. I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it’s not like being on set.”