by Ellen Efstathiou
To be entirely honest, I didn’t know exactly what was happening with Gwyneth Paltrow until shamefully recently. I had seen the clip of the unintentionally passive-aggressive lawyer saying “You’re so small…well, not that small,” so I knew she was in court, but that was about it. Other than that, I’d seen her in Shakespeare in Love, and I knew she’d done some kind of weird health cult stuff with Goop. However, when she was brought up at the Grape pitch meeting I figured I could come up with an opinion about her. She seems to be one of those people we are born with opinions about. But since learning more about her trial, the conclusion I’ve come to is this:
I do not give a singular shit about Gwyneth Paltrow.
She’s not the first celebrity to have had a very public trial, whose clips have gone insanely viral on Twitter and other social media platforms. I need it to stop. I need what happens in those courtrooms to stay in those courtrooms, and not end up on the internet ever. Because what is being gained from this?
Celebrity gossip can be harmless. The elites will never hear the conversation you had over dinner about whether Harry Styles actually spat on Chris Pine or not. Furthermore, more serious issues can be deemed “useful” gossip. The trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, while being a cringeworthy shitshow a lot of the time, also brought a lot of awareness to domestic violence issues.
However, what is Gwyneth Paltrow doing? She went skiing, got in a skiing accident, got sued for medical reasons, and asked for one dollar in return (which is definitely only because it would look bad to ask for more, not because she was personally influenced by Taylor Swift). And while she’s been made fun of plenty of times, for everything from Goop to being a dumb blonde, it doesn’t really seem like there’s a deeper reason to it. I don’t care about her, but I don’t think that she’s doing real harm for the most part. We’re all just living in an age where we can get really close to celebrities through social media, so the spectacle of it all is more evident than it has been in the past.
This isn’t entirely the general public’s fault, either. They are not to blame for the theatrics surrounding celebrities and their carefully curated personas. The media surrounding Gwyneth’s Paltrow’s trial (and honestly the media surrounding every celebrity trial that’s happened recently) is part of the problem too. Why are cameras allowed in these courtrooms and why must the media squeeze every last drop out of these trials?
Of course, all the attention is partially the point. As long as the celebrity is still liked by the media and the public, they’re all good. That’s more important than whether they win the trial or not. As we’ve seen in the past few years, canceling doesn’t work, and celebrities just need the majority of the public to like them. Or for the majority of the public to forget why they didn’t like them. And what better way of getting an audience to like you than by having “memeable” (to quote the Entertainment Tonight YouTube channel) moments in your trial?
The lawyers have been a particularly noticeable part of celebrity trials. There are compilations of their best moments on Youtube. Having a young, cool, hip lawyer will win points with the public. For these trials, choosing your lawyer is even more important than usual. I don’t think anyone has been so interested in lawyers since Legally Blonde came out.
In conclusion, Gwyneth Paltrow did not start this and it is not her fault that her trial has been turned into such a spectacle. Such is the world we live in these days. I know that telling people that they shouldn’t care about celebrity gossip this banal is pointless, but nevertheless, maybe things that are in court should not be treated the same as gossip about celebrity couples. This goes for the public, the media, PR people, and everyone in between. This is all pointless. I do not care about Gwyneth Paltrow, and Gwyneth Paltrow does not care about me.