Late last summer, there was some enticing gossip that Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter was going to do a story on Gwyneth Paltrow and her Goop-ification, and how Gwyneth has passionate haters and defenders. As the months went on (with no VF story), the rumors grew around the alleged article, and it morphed into an “epic takedown” in which Gwyneth’s shenanigans would be exposed. More months of waiting followed, and still no article. Then word came that Gwyneth had panicked, that she was either trying to shut VF down or that she had played nice with Graydon Carter in exchange for more favorable coverage. Well, now we finally have the product of all of that hand-wringing. Graydon wrote about the Goop situation in the March issue, and VF just put a preview online:
In the full version of the Editor’s Letter, Carter explains that he had originally assigned contributing editor Vanessa Grigoriadis to write a story about Gwyneth Paltrow after noticing that people tend to have passionate opinions about the actress—some positive, some negative. The letter continues:
Vanessa turned in her story at the end of the summer. And it was just what had been assigned—a reasoned, reported essay on the hate/love-fest that encircles Gwyneth Paltrow. I thought it perfectly explained the whole phenomenon. But it was such a far cry from the almost mythical story that people were by now expecting—the “epic takedown,” filled with “bombshell” revelations—that it was bound to be a disappointment. What to do? I decided to sit on it for a time.
In October, Gwyneth called me. We talked for about 20 minutes about the story and her reaction, or over-reaction, to it. At one point, she asked my advice as to what to do to get the “haters” on her side. I suggested putting on 15 pounds. I joked that it works for me. She replied I had put on much more than that. Which I thought was fair and funny. Two months after the phone call, Web sites lit up with news of a truce. We received more mail, much of it now criticizing us for caving. There had also been conflicting reports that Gwyneth had coerced George Clooney into not being on our cover—clearly not true. There were reports that she was trying to scuttle our annual Oscar party, that she was going to organize a competing dinner. The Paltrow camp subsequently denied both claims.
We were in uncharted waters. At Vanity Fair, we tend to keep stories we are working on under our hats. It’s not easy being a monthly magazine in an Internet age, and since most of the publications we compete with are weeklies or dailies, when it comes to the stories still in train, a certain amount of institutional secrecy is required. The Gwyneth Paltrow saga had clearly just gotten away from us. My instinct was to continue to let it sit until people had forgotten about it, or at least until expectations had diminished. The fact is the Gwyneth Paltrow story, the one we ordered up, as delightfully written as it was, is not the one the anti-Gwynethites expect. That it has generated more mail and attention than many of the biggest stories we’ve ever published only makes the situation more complicated . . .
“I suggested putting on 15 pounds. I joked that it works for me. She replied I had put on much more than that.” Classic Goop. Always telling fat people to their fat faces that they are fat. Perhaps Graydon should have said THAT to Gwyneth: stop talking about weight so much, stop focusing on weight, stop judging people as “less than” just because they don’t juice fast every month and work out three hours a day.
So, basically, it’s just a couple of elitists bending over backwards to accommodate each other’s privilege. Of course, Gwyneth wouldn’t see it that way. She had to DEIGN to speak to a peasant like Graydon Carter (on the telephone, no less, but at least she didn’t have to see his fat face) and there isn’t a juice fast big enough to cleanse her system of that.
Photos courtesy of WENN.