Unwilling Weinstein Witness: Gwyneth Skips Trial Of The Man Who Launched Her Empire Of GOOP

Oscar winner turned alternative lifestyle guru conspicuously misses chance to testify against former Hollywood patron. Red carpet fatigue or too much red tape for her curated image?

Harvey Weinstein made Gwyneth Paltrow a household name and her accusations were a key component of his downfall. But she hasn’t made time to testify in his ongoing rape trial.

Evidently she’s too busy running her own media company to think much about the abuses that helped Harvey build Miramax and manipulate the careers of a generation of actresses in the process.

That’s her privilege. Maybe she’s still traumatized. But that doesn’t really support the kind of empowerment message she wants to be sending.

And there’s big money riding on that message. Her company’s future hinges on her Netflix series making a splash and expanding her reach.

Whether it works or not, Gwyneth’s cards are already on the table. Her company is completely engaged in its own success.

There just aren’t a lot of resources left for either revenge or justice. 

GOOP Lab: Who Profits

It’s still an open question on Wall Street who actually paid for her Netflix series. Theoretically, it’s a half-hour infomercial, the kind of programming that the producer pays channels to distribute.

However, this is Netflix and virtually endless cash is flowing. Management claims they don’t think about taking ad dollars from anyone.

They might not have paid Gwyneth much to get her to make them a show. Maybe it’s a revenue-neutral deal for both parties, or at best they subsidized her production costs.

Either way, the relationship is more about branding and exposure now than revenue. It doesn’t show up in the Netflix earnings reports or conference calls. 

It’s a nice perk for Netflix management. Whether it pays off for them in terms of audience retention, we’ll just have to see.

But for Gwyneth, this is a huge opportunity to get her message in front of tens of millions of people. And it’s a huge effort. 

GOOP suspended its magazine while they were putting the show together. They simply didn’t have the resources to support both platforms at once, so they let the old print publication go.

Once the show is up and running, they can then feed content back to the magazine. Build it once and sell it twice.

However, if the show fails, they’re stuck. That’s why Gwyneth is consumed with this right now.

Harvey’s trial at best dilutes the feel-good message. At worst, any surprises raise the odds that the show will backfire.

Crisis Management 101: Don't Rock The Boat

Early response to the show has been negative enough that the money people must be a little nervous. 

GOOP took in another $50 million back in 2018, early in the Weinstein saga. That’s a lot to bet on what is essentially an aspirational lifestyle brand built around a single strong personality.

The brand is largely Gwyneth. People who admire her read the newsletter and check out the sponsors. Now they can watch the show too.

Harvey Weinstein plays dirty. He has connections in the world of corporate espionage and will use them to burn his enemies.

The way his Oscar campaign for “Shakespeare In Love” played out is evidence of that. And that was 20 years ago. He’s a lot more sophisticated now and has less to lose.

He’s already fired a few shots at Gwyneth in payback for going public in the first place. Reminding the world about her privileged background was only a warning.

Weinstein people have deliberately smeared other actresses, manipulating their search engine results by planting fake stories to undermine their credibility in court.

We don’t hear from Asia Argento, for example. Word of her affair got out and contributed to boyfriend Tony Bourdain’s suicide.

Gwyneth’s whole mystique revolves around elegance, relaxation and happy thoughts. That aura doesn’t blend well with the ugly realities of a sex trial decades in the making.

And with outside investors in the background, those realities are being kept far away. She might not like it. Maybe she’ll regret not doing more.

That’s on her. The show must literally go on.


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