Gwyneth Paltrow Talks Internet Trolls, Compares 'Dehumanizing' Experience To War

Celebrities are major targets for Internet trolls, and Gwyneth Paltrow is no exception. The
Gwyneth Paltrow compares online attacks to surviving war: It's a 'bloody, dehumanizing thing'


In an interview with Re/code, the GOOP founder talked about Internet commenters and how she has learned to ignore their negativity.

Gwyneth Paltrow has a message for Internet trolls: Look inside yourself before attacking others.

The actress spoke out about online commenters in an interview with Re/code on Tuesday, in advance of a surprise appearance at the Code Conference, a two-day event of "top industry influencers in media and technology" taking place in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
Paltrow was invited to speak due to her popular online lifestyle brand GOOP—on which she famously announced that she and her husband Chris Martin were "consciously uncoupling."

She says that while the "Internet is an amazing opportunity, socially," it also means people can vent their negativity and take it out on others.

"It's culturally acceptable to be an anonymous commenter," she said. "It's culturally acceptable to say, 'I'm just going to take all of my internal pain and externalize it anonymously.'"

She also compared enduring the wrath of Internet commenters to surviving a war.
"You come across (online comments) about yourself and about your friends, and it's a very dehumanizing thing," the star said. "It's almost like how, in war, you go through this bloody, dehumanizing thing … My hope is, as we get out of it, we'll reach the next level of conscience."

The "Iron Man 3" star said the vitriol doesn't affect her, but noted that "it's taken a long time to get to (that) point."

"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."


“Celebrities, we’ve always gotten stones thrown at us and, you know, for good reason: We’re annoying," Paltrow told the Code Conference crowd. "Some of us look okay, we look like we have money, our lives seem great. That may or may not be the case … Nevertheless, we get it. Or, at the very least, we expect that it’s part and parcel to what we do. Anyone in any field who has their head rise above a poppy in the field, they get their heads chopped off. It’s our human nature to feel that way, and to do it … Everybody takes shit, it’s just the way it is.”

Still, that expectation doesn't make the reality any easier. The 41-year-old said the criticism feels like “the scabs from your high school wounds being ripped off on a daily basis.”

In February, the trolling hit close to home when a post on the anonymous secret-sharing app Whisper claimed Paltrow was cheating on estranged husband Chris Martin with Hollywood lawyer Kevin Yorn. The post went viral and the actress' camp eventually denied it. One month later, Paltrow and Martin announced their "conscious uncoupling."

She also compared the experience of dealing with online trolling to war, saying: “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. My hope is, as we get out of it, we’ll reach the next level of conscience."

She wants people to take a second to think about their words before commenting, according to Re/code. Instead of a person adding a vicious, anonymous jab alongside a photo of a star in a dress, she hopes that person will ask themselves: "I wonder what this image represents to me that I feel such a surge of anger?"

In November, Paltrow's mother, Blythe Danner, defended her Oscar-winning daughter against "bored" Internet bullies.

"I feel she’s just extraordinarily accomplished in every area and people don’t like that, some people don’t like that, people who are bored and sit on their asses all day and just tap away," she told Naughty But Nice Rob. "I mean I don’t read any of it, I just find it so disgusting. There is a coarsening of our culture today that is just so tragic.”


I think she needs to stop talking....