Gwyneth Paltrow: Fighting Internet trolls is like surviving war

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Actress Gwyneth Paltrow argued Tuesday that she is fighting an onslaught of online attacks, much like a soldier in battle.

Speaking ahead of her surprise appearance at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Miss Paltrow spoke about the troubles she faces with anonymous commenters who use the Internet to project their own miseries upon her.


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“The Internet is an amazing opportunity, socially. We have this opportunity to mature and learn, which is the essence of being on earth — to being the closest person we can be to our actual, real, truest self,” she told tech news website Re/Code. “But the Internet also allows us the opportunity to project outward our hatred, our jealousy. It’s culturally acceptable to be an anonymous commenter. It’s culturally acceptable to say, ‘I’m just going to take all of my internal pain and externalize it anonymously.’”

The actress compared the experience of living through online attacks to surviving a war.

“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,” she told Re/Code. “You can make it as bloody as you want to, but is that the point?

“We’re in this very adolescent phase,” Miss Paltrow said. “It’s dangerous, [because] we lack the capacity to say, ‘Why does this matter to me, and who am I in this?’ ‘Why am I having opinions about Angelina Jolie’s operation?’ ‘What is unhealed in me?’ ‘Why am I using the Internet to do this?’”

Cindy McCain, wife of Arizona Sen. John McCain, lashed out at the actress on Twitter.

“Gweneth Paltrow is a joke. Her life is like taking bullets for a soldier. What a joke! My 2 sons serving in the military should talk to her,” she said. “Perhaps Gweneth [sic] Paltrow should go out on patrol with some soldiers. Kind of like a Red Carpet in her mind I guess!”

Miss Paltrow’s comments come after she sparked criticism in a March interview for complaining that her job as a professional actress is more demanding on mothers than most.

“I think it’s different when you have an office job,” she told E! News at the time. “It’s routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening. When you’re shooting a movie, they’re like, ‘We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,’ and then you work 14 hours a day and that part of it is very difficult. I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it’s not like being on set.”

Angelina Jolie criticized Miss Paltrow’s assertion in an interview last week, in which she said Hollywood mothers with substantial wealth and status shouldn’t complain about the woes of celebrity motherhood.

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