Goop Enters Netflix Deal: Has Pseudoscience Found A New Platform? Forbes, 9 Feb 2019, Bruce Y. Lee
Who knew that the pathway to getting a “docuseries” on Netflix would include selling jade eggs to put in your vagina and coffee to go up your rear end?
Orifices get ready. Gwyneth Paltrow’s company Goop recently signed a deal with Netflix to broadcast a series of 30 minute episodes hosted by Paltrow and Elise Loehnen, Goop’s chief content officer. Soon Goop and its content will have a new platform, or rather a megaphone, in Netflix, which has over 130 million subscribers in more than 190 countries.
Through the WI Lens
This piece offers a caustic take on news that Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop has landed a plum spot on the world’s biggest TV content streaming service, the actual content as yet unknown. Simultaneously, although not mentioned in this article, Goop have also sealed an exclusive podcast deal with Delta airlines The Netflix deal is billed as a docuseries, which is generally defined as a series of documentaries. And documentaries are in turn understood to be programmes dealing in fact. The author’s main point is that Paltrow’s venture is renowned for dealing in pseudoscience, which has no such basis. One review of products promoted on the site found only 10 per cent had any credible claim to scientific validity.
What’s remarkable about this deal is that it will further increase the value of a business already worth $250 million, in spite of being repeatedly called out for dubious claims. Every bit of success Goop enjoys risks giving wellness a bad name, undermining the serious objectives of effective illness prevention, proactive health and protective medicine. It’s also a fundamentally elitist take on wellness, catering to the whims and self-indulgence of a privileged minority – rather than the real-world needs of the many. Netflix may have done no favours to the millions of people coping with more profound wellbeing issues but the expanding reach of Goop (and Paltrow) despite the naysayers, will continue to bring vast commercial benefit.
“On such fragile foundations are built the first steps towards a more ethical kind of business, and who knows what virtuous circles might result?”
“Scientific evidence recently emerged that, contrary to earlier beliefs, Covid-19 can be spread by tiny droplets that we breathe out when we respire, called aerosols.”
“Economic wellbeing is part of the story, but it is also about finding less stressful lifestyles, in which healthy diet figures as a meaningful measure of success.”
“The industry has every asset needed to be a guiding light in the shift toward personal health priority. Will that become a prevention legacy, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the Covid-19 ashes?”
“Looking at the bigger picture, putting the measures in this order represents a lost opportunity that the pandemic could have offered for a cultural pivot pivot towards getting people more focused on their health, a powerful statement of intent.”
“Employment is necessary to fulfil our most basic human needs such as food and shelter. Any significant increase in long-term unemployment will spell a retrograde step for human wellbeing like no other.”
“All roads lead to a wellbeing anchor, whether that be economic/financial, physical, mental or emotional: all contribute to a progressive and inclusive cosmopolitan world. The answer should not be a choice of one or the other but of a joined up and compassionate solution for society, business and individuals.”
“The paradox is that we continue to do this in spite of recognising that striving to become ever-more productive is an intrinsically unhealthy behaviour, leading to stress and too often, a sense of failure.”
“The same broad-sweeping structural racism that enables police brutality against black Americans is also responsible for higher mortality among black Americans with Covid-19,” Maimuna Majumder, a Harvard epidemiologist working on the Covid-19 response, tells Vox.
The take-out from this? Wellbeing cannot exist at a more elevated level without our basic needs being met.