Gwyneth Paltrow calls out the NYT for saying she used a cookbook ghostwriter

Gwyneth Paltrow and her square butt are pissed off, y’all. In case you hadn’t heard, Gwyneth is the next Martha Stewart and has taken great care to develop her own Goopy lifestyle company, which is perfectly complimented by Goop’s self-aggrandizing cookbook, My Father’s Daughter, a compliation of 150 fancy-pants recipes. Now Goop is outraged that the New York Times has not only penned an article about cookbook ghostwriters but has included Goop’s book amongst those that are guilty of the practice. How peasanty! Goop has tweeted her displeasure:

On prior occasions, Gwyneth has admitted to having help while putting together her cookbook in the form of Julia Turshen, but Goop has tried to minimize Turshen’s contribution by describing her as a “kitchen assistant.” Still, I can see why Goop might be freaking out because, in her eyes, this makes the Goop brand look bad — mostly because Goop is so tight with Mario Batali, and the New York Times has revealed Turshen as a former ghostwriter of Batali. Here’s the relevant part of the article that has irked the Goop:

Because cookbook ghostwriting brings low pay, nonexistent royalties (most writers are paid a flat fee, or a percentage of the advance doled out by the publisher) and only a few perks, most ghosts don’t last long. When a ghosted book is successful, watching someone else get credit for your work is demoralizing. And when books do not sell, which is usually the case, it is tiresome to play and then repeat the roles required: muse, publicist and interpreter.

But it can also be a gateway to better things. Julia Turshen, who is writing a second cookbook with Gwyneth Paltrow after their collaboration on My Father’s Daughter, began as the ghostwriter for the ghostwriter on a book by Mario Batali, tagging along with a notebook as the chef filmed a culinary romp through Spain.

“The guy I was reporting for ended up off the project, and that’s how I got started,” she said. Ms. Turshen, like many younger ghosts, is generally thrilled to be paid for the combination of writing and cooking.

Oddly, one of the best qualifications for the job is ignorance: the tricky steps and specialized skills that a chef will teach the ghostwriter as they work together are the same ones the writer will have to teach to a home cook in the text of the book. The best ghosts are the ones who anticipate the reader’s questions.

“It actually helps to be an idiot,” Ms. Turshen said. “A hungry one.”

[From New York Times]

Okay, I’ll bite on this one. It is almost certain that Goop wrote every bit of her own prose during the interludes before and in between recipes. Kaiser points out that there’s no one else on earth who would write that an outdoor wood-burning pizza over was “one of the best investments I’ve ever made” besides the Goop herself. This is not to mention other Goop-penned gems such as “One year I was given a birthday present I’ll never forget — a cooking lesson from Jamie Oliver,” “I grew up going to the island of Nantucket (off the coast of Massachusetts) at the end of every summer,” “I basically love anything that comes in a hot dog bun… except hot dogs (sorry, Dad),” and “When I pass a flowering zucchini plant in a garden, my heart skips a beat.” Stuff like that is the bread and butter of Goopy condescension, and it’s all Gwyneth. So Goop wins on that point, but technically speaking, did she “write” the entire cookbook (which is mostly recipes) on her own? No way. Goop did not author those 150 recipes all by her lonesome. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that Goop had help concocting most of those recipes that weren’t already written by her father.

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

37 Responses to “Gwyneth Paltrow calls out the NYT for saying she used a cookbook ghostwriter”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Maya says:

    Am I missing something here? The NYT article doesn’t claim her book was ghost-written. They just say that Julie Turshen ‘collaborated’ with Gwyneth…which even she admitted was true. I’m confused.

    • lucy2 says:

      I read it the same way. It called JT Batali’s ghostwriter, but Gwenyth’s collaborator.
      Maybe Gwenyth’s reading comprehension only extends to cleanse instructions?

  2. Carobell says:

    I love Goop. I admit it. She’s a guilty pleasure, I guess I like being condescended to and told that I need a spring wardrobe that costs more than my yearly take home pay. I find her more amusing than annoying.

    Does she really think anyone believes she spent months in a kitchen working out the proportions for all those recipes? I know she wants people to, but really?

    • Gia says:

      I admit, I love her too. Much like Martha…Nothing i have or do could ever be as perfect or beautiful and i love it. I think I’m a domestic masochist.

      • curegirl0421 says:

        Hahaha, that’s a perfect phrase! I too am a domestic masochist, although my terrible, terrible fetish extends to not just the kitchen (where awful things happen when I’m trying to be clever), but to the “garden” – the big, weedy square behind my house. Every year I wander the aisles of Lowes or wherever, looking at books of perfectly manicured lawns and landscapes obsessively, knowing it will never happen and loving it anyway.

  3. Len says:

    I don’t find Gwyneth any more condescending than any average womens magazine out there. telling us to combine our 500 dollar prada shoes with an h&m top.

    • ZenB!tch says:

      Um… I did that for my friend’s b-day last week. The shoes are a remnant from my pre-Recession days and the Target outfit was new.

  4. Jackie says:

    i agree. i don’t believe for a second that she created and wrote all those recipes by herself.

    those quotes you highlighted from her book are really nauseating. so glad i stayed away from this one.

  5. Agnes says:

    i don’t understand what the big deal is. just because you can cook (or think you can, whichever the case is with goop) doesn’t mean you know how to write or how to communicate your ideas and recipes effectively to a specific audience. no shame in hiring a professional. but it does suck that she’s so full of it that she denies it, the actual recipe writers should get the recognition they deserve.

  6. Liberty says:

    I note that she likes to mini roll the bottoms of her princess pants in the manner of Blue Ivy’s mum. “My heart dances whilst turning my hems and gazing upon the wee hat of a carrot.”

  7. poppy says:

    Goop doesn’t eat solid food and definitely had a ghostwriter for every recipe. Julia is in big trouble giving an interview where Goop didn’t have 1000% control over final content. I would wager Goop had a second ghost writer to help with her ‘flowering zucchini’ gems to be able to honestly claim she put some work into the final product outside of promoting it. Goop hardly graduated from high school. The lifestyle blog is mostly written by interns. Goop then tweaks the wording; an intern could never touch her level condescension.
    The fact Goop has a second cookbook is testament to the demise of paper publishing. The recipes (admittedly) aren’t hers and she goes on ad nauseam about cleansing and dieting… contradicting herself every step of the way. If she’s such a healthy eater and exercises 1-2 hours a day, why so much dieting?
    Goop can’t keep all her stories straight. She often contradicts herself in the same interviews.
    Remember, she hates those big, fluffy tacky unimportant movies! She thinks Sandra Bullock (1964) is old like Meryl Streep (1949). She doesn’t understand why Reese Witherspoon continues to do comedies despite getting ready to appear in one with her.
    Her goop is so thick you can cut it with a knife. A titanium knife honed by pygmy virgins of Uranus.
    sorry for the rant

    • Leikyn says:

      Agreed. As much as she believes she is the gods gift to the world, she doesn’t eat food. It was an interesting article.

    • Annie says:

      I actually believe she writes her lifestyle blog and the introductory prose in her cookbook herself. Not only the writing style but the entire concepts she comes up with are just so cringe inducingly bad/weird that it has to be the Goop herself. In fact if anything she needs to hire herself a ghostwriter or at least a better editor. She’s like one of those tonedeaf weirdos on Youtube who are convinced they can sing and keep making vids so bad you blush for them week in week out, except with Goop she’s convinced she’s a talented writer (her singing, by comparison is quite tolerable).

      • Annie says:

        BTW Poppy and Leikyn, why are you so convinced she doesn’t “eat much food”? I’m the same size and shape as her, in fact I could be her body double and eat a *very* average amount of food. If it’s your natural body type, and you’re active (like Gwyneth) it’s very easy to maintain this body. You don’t have to be chunky to enjoy your food. That said, I still can’t stand the Goop’s food/lifestyle ‘advice’.

      • poppy says:

        i agree with you, the crap concepts are ALL goop’s. i do think she is too lazy to write her own stuff, hence my guess about the work-for-free interns with her going back to edit and brand it goop style.
        i don’t think she eats much because she states she does a 21 day cleanse seasonally, so, that’s about 84 days a year she doesn’t eat solid food.
        i bet you don’t do that to yourself! you seem smart and decidedly uncrazy.
        there isn’t any reason to forgo solid food if you are physically fit and exercise daily, minding what you eat and even indulging occasionally. i can’t believe she exercises as much and cleanses as often as she claims to and still manages to “eat like a truck driver” as she and batali proudly proclaim.
        it is hard to believe anything she says because at the end of the day she’s just shilling junk to make money off people unwilling to do a modicum of research. her trainer also recommended people perform her workouts while eating baby food.
        can’t and don’t trust the goop.
        i totally believe you are fit and fab and eat! i know from my own experience it is very possible and i’m very short and not young. i bet you are actually healthy whereas i doubt goop is at all, mentally or physically.

      • Annie says:

        Hahaha, so we’re pretty much agreed then. GP is indeed a lazy princess but she also thinks she’s a talented writer and thinks she’s like God’s gift to the plebs which is why I thought she probably writes it herself – she just fancies herself some classic English writer/master chef sooo much.

        I didn’t realize her cleanses involved no solid food! I’m very interested in health/fitness but I’d never take GOOP’s advice seriously, I just read it every now and then for a good laugh. That seems very extreme to me – I myself do liver/parasite/colon cleanses but nothing that involves no solids or even cutting back on calories.

  8. poppy says:

    FYI you can completely copy, ingredient for ingredient and amounts, ANY recipe, legally, as long as you use your own words to describe how to prepare it. trying to find the article i read that from but it was how to blog recipes without copy write infringement.

  9. Talie says:

    They all lie about this…have no idea why. Nicole Richie and Lauren Conrad are the most famous offenders, they actually go in-depth talking about their writing routines.

  10. mel says:

    Honestly…if Gwyneth had just not said anything no one really would of noticed – but now the issue is out there and she looks defensive and foolish.

  11. mel says:

    Also..she looks very pretty in the first picture….

  12. Nev says:

    I wish Martha would come out and kick some ass…there is only one Martha.

  13. Goofpuff says:

    Wow. How dumb does she think we are? Oh wait. Yeah. Lol dumb ass. I wish celebrities would give credit to those who helped them but I guess their egos are too big to handle it. Only their super fans buy into the manufactured hype.

  14. Amy says:

    I read this article on the NY Times website and found it very interesting. Most celebrities who write any kind of book usually have outside help. However the ghostwriters don’t get any credit on the cover (sometimes they do on the inside cover, it depends).

  15. Granger says:

    Methinks the Goop dost protest too much! As someone already noted, the excerpts above don’t say Turshen was Paltrow’s ghost writer, but rather, that they “collaborated” on the cookbook. So why Goopy took offence is beyond me. It’s as though she feels overly sensitive about the writing in her cookbook, which only serves to make me think she didn’t write it!

  16. OXA says:

    So look at the bright side, she claims complete ownership of the crap she published.

  17. original kate says:

    she should be calling out her BFF mario batali for stealing money from his restaurant employees.

  18. Ravensdaughter says:

    Goop is smart enough to write the narrative; (note I haven’t seen the book since I have no life at the moment), but I am skeptical of any claims she has on the culinary side. I have heard about the recipes, and I think she just doesn’t have the cooking experience.
    Also, if she is asking for a true retraction, the proper mechanism to request that is a Letter to the Editor, not a Twitter post. Based on her current hesitance to go that extra substantive step, my guess is she did NOT write every word herself.

  19. ZenB!tch says:

    That outfit is unflattering.

    I’m undomestic and know how to put on my own make-up so I’ve never been to her site. I just wait for Kaiser and CB to point out the highlights here.

    I admit it, I find her entertaining and a great advertisement for Tracy Anderson. She’s always been thin but she did not look like that in the 90s she was very untoned.

  20. Pandora says:

    can’t you bitches just start a new blog for your gwynniehate?

    you could call it crackertrashy, or maybe trailerbitchy?

    • katniss says:

      dont they have forums for your kind of foam-at-the-mouth fangirl drivel?

      why dont you just revert your head back up Saint Goopies flat square ass then you wont have to worry about reading anyone ever saying anything slightly negative about her from the confines of her squeaky clean colon.

  21. Bella says:

    Squared butt…LOL!!

  22. mln76 says:

    I know I’m late to the party but I have to say I love how Lainey just ignored this whole thing. Princess Goopy can do no wrong in her eyes… :)

  23. Just Sayin says:

    what I find so ironic about today’s edition of GOOP is that paltrow opens by refuting that she had a ghostwriter do all the work for her on her new cookbook, as reported by the new york times.

    then she goes on to the ‘real business’ of this particular edition of GOOP — to detail and discuss the elephantine efforts undertaken by her stylist, dress designer, make-up artist, and trainer so that she would look pristinely fit, well-dressed and made-up for the oscars. doink!

    in a nutshell, no one helped her write that book dammit! but, hell it takes an army to make gwyneth, well… gwyneth!

    just sayin’.