Thursday 29 September 2016

'I walked away from a career where people kissed my ass' - Gwyneth Paltrow on leaving acting

Actress pens op-ed about swapping acting for 'aspirational' living and finally bites back at her Goop critics

Heather Saul

Published 08/09/2016 | 08:10

Gwyneth Paltrow.
Gwyneth Paltrow.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s decision to walk away from a “perfectly good day job” to manage Goop is not a choice many have understood, but it is one she is trying to explain in a comment piece criticising "terrible" reports about her business.

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Paltrow had an Oscar-winning acting career, the enviable bank balance that comes with it and a pick of the roles she wanted to appear in to boot. Then she put acting aside to launch Goop, an aspirational lifestyle website which has been mocked for being out of touch, largely thanks to recommendations for sex toys costing five figures and diary-free condoms. Since its launch in 2006, Goop's ethos has proved divisive. Some articles have also proved controversial for the unorthadox health advice offered within them, including one which suggested a link between breast cancer and wearing tight fitting or underwired bras.

Paltrow is leading the pack of celebrities moving from careers onscreen to lifestyle and wellness, with women such as Cameron Diaz and Kate Hudson releasing books on self-esteem and health.

But her entrepreneurial move was one that has been questioned and Paltrow has accused the press of pitting her and other high-profile women against each other in a piece for the Telegraph.

“The outcry that was heard still reverberates to this day, and I experience it in different ways - most pointedly in how some of the other women who have followed suit and I are often pitted against each other in a bizarre imaginary triangulation that none of us feel and which the media, continuously licking its chops, prays has veracity," writes Paltrow.

“I (basically) walked away from a career where people kissed my ass to being grilled by a VC or my board. I used to worry about myself and myself alone, and now I am responsible for the livelihoods of 50+ people."

Paltrow also took a swipe at media reports, claiming “erroneous tidbits” about her that would have once simply proved annoying are now damaging to her business.

“There is a difference in your mum calling you to ask if it’s really true that you were shopping for an engagement ring (nope) and your venture debt bank calling you to say “what the f**k is going on?” when they read multiple terribly reported stories that you are leaving your own business.

Paltrow has already proved her self-awareness before. The resentment built by the inclusion of highly priced non-essentials has led her to ensure the website has its own fun occasionally in response - the gold dildo being a case in point.

“We have a bit of fun now and affiliate link to a $15,000 gold dildo just to troll people back,” she said earlier this year.

“We look for products that will create that reaction.”

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