Gwyn just can't win. Gwyneth Paltrow is facing a lot of online backlash for, well, comparing online backlash to war. Bryan Sikes, a member of the United States Army Special Forces (known as the Green Berets), slammed the Oscar winner for her comments in a Tuesday, May 27, interview in which she compared cyberbullying to combat.
"To Miss Paltrow," Sikes wrote in a guest column Friday, May 30, for Clash Daily, a website founded by conservative author Doug Giles. "I'd first like to start out by saying how terrible I feel for you and all your friends that on a daily basis have to endure mean words written by people you don’t know. I can only imagine the difficulty of waking up in a 12,000 square foot Hollywood home and having your assistant retrieve your iPhone, only to see that the battery is low and someone on twitter (the social media concept that you and all of your friends contribute to on an hourly basis to feed your ego and narcissistic ways), has written a mean word or 2 about you."
Sikes sarcastically added, "You've hit the nail on the head, war is exactly like that. You should receive a medal for the burden you have carried on your shoulders due to these meanies on social media." Recalling Paltrow's now-controversial statement to tech site Re/code, Sikes continued: "You said, 'Its almost like, how in war, you go through this bloody dehumanizing thing and then something is defined out of it.'"
"I could see how you, and others like you in 'the biz,' could be so insecure and mentally weak that you could pair the difficulty of your life on twitter to my brothers who have had their limbs ripped off and seen their friends shot, blown up, burned and disfigured, or wake up every morning in pain – while just starting the day is a challenge," the serviceman said.
"How about our wives? The ones that sign on to be there for us through thick and thin, that help us to shake the hardships of war upon our return? And do all this while being mothers to our kids, keeping bills in order because we are always gone, and keeping our lives glued together. They do all this, by the way, without a team of accountants, nannies, personal assistants, and life coaches. Yeah, reading a mean tweet is just like all that."
"You know what is really 'dehumanizing,' Miss Paltrow?" Sikes asked incredulously. "The fact that you’d even consider that your life as an 'A-list' celebrity reading internet comments could even compare to war and what is endured on the battlefield. You and the other 'A-listers' that think like you are laughable. You all have actually convinced yourselves that you in some way face difficulty on a regular basis. Let me be the first to burst your bubble: a long line at Starbucks, your driver being 3 minutes late, a scuff mark on your $1200 shoes and a mean tweet do not constitute difficulty in the eyes of a soldier."
"Understand me when I say this: war does not define me," he concluded. "It is a chapter in my life that helped shaped me. Being a husband and father is what defines me. Remember, sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never…be close to what war is."
Sikes is not the only person to call Paltrow out for her comments. Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John McCain, slammed Paltrow via Twitter on Wednesday, May 28, referring to the Hollywood scion as "a joke." McCain explained, "Her life is like taking bullets for a soldier. What a joke! My 2 sons serving in the military should talk to her."
Paltrow, for her part, told Re/code that she takes her critics' comments in stride. "I see myself as a chalkboard or a whiteboard or a screen, and someone is just putting up their own projection on it," she mused. The star continued, "It has nothing to do with me. They have an internal object, and they're putting it on me. I kind of look at it as, 'Wow this is an interesting social experiment.' You're talking about a blind stranger having feelings about you. It can only be projection." Click here for more of obnoxious Gwyneth musings.