Pseudoscience

Netflix gives Gwyneth Paltrow a platform to promote her ‘Goop’ pseudoscience

Gwyneth Paltrow‘s Goop has been, for the most part, exposed by multiple outlets of journalism as a company that promotes junk science and bogus health fads, but that isn’t stopping one of the world’s largest streaming services from giving her a platform to promote her product, Engadget reports.

Netflix has signed on to produce a Goop docuseries that centers around beauty, food, and books. The still-untitled series will consist of 30-minute episodes and will be hosted by the company’s chief content officer Elise Loehnen and Paltrow. As Variety points out, episodes will utilize “experts, doctors and researchers” to discuss issues related to “physical and spiritual wellness.”

From Variety:

Loehnen’s content team of about 20 will work on shaping the series with Netflix, which she said seeks to dial up the aesthetics and quality of storytelling surrounding issues like mental, physical and sexual health — and address larger thematic questions the Goop audience has about leading optimal lives. It doesn’t hurt that Paltrow knows her way around a Hollywood set. The actress has appeared in over 40 films, including the forthcoming “Avengers: Endgame.”

One has to wonder about the factual integrity the “experts, doctors, and researchers” will bring to the series considering Goop‘s track record. The fact-checking/media watchdog organization NewsGuard gave the company’s website, goop.com, a massive failing grade when it comes to credibility and accountability, pointing out that the company has been “accused by medical professionals, advocacy groups, and government agencies of promoting and selling products on the site that have adverse health affects or are falsely advertised.”

In September of 2018, Goop doled out $145,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the California Food, Drug, and Medical Device Task Force, accusing it of false advertising. One of the products cited in the lawsuit were Goop‘s jade and quartz “vaginal eggs,” which were marketed to be inserted into women’s vaginas and kept there, sometimes overnight, to “get better connected to the power within.”

Another garbage product marketed by Goop were the “Body Vibe” stickers, which claimed to be “made with the same conductive carbon material NASA uses to line space suits so they can monitor astronauts vitals.” Consumers were instructed to wear the stickers in order to “rebalance the energy frequency” in their bodies. As I write this, an article sitting on the website’s front page endorses the rubbing of “Ayurvedic Oils” between one’s toes and the soles of one’s feet to cure depression associated with the “winter blahs.”

For her blog in October of last year. Dr. Jen Gunter took it upon herself to review 161 of Goop’s “wellness” products for their authenticity. According to her findings, the website’s store is “90% quackatorium” with “no evidence supporting Gwyneth Paltrow’s claim that goop does not engage in pseudoscience as a commercial venture.”

And then there’s this:

“Goop also promotes the Medical Medium, a man who speaks with a ghost to dispense health information,” Gunter writes. “They have also featured a medium online and at In Goop Health. Mediums are by definition pseudoscience.”

Bottom line: if you’re going to be getting health advice from Gwyneth Paltrow, you might as well be talking to a ghost. If Netflix is going to be promoting Goop on its platform, it should at the very least be in the science fiction category.

Featured image via screen grab/Moses Bach

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