Gwyneth Paltrow Says Equal Pay "Important to Me As a Working Mother," Blemishing Otherwise Noble Democratic Fundraiser
Who better to host the Democratic National Committee than...Gwyneth Paltrow? On Thursday, some of Hollywood's biggest names convened in Paltrow's backyard for a Democratic fund-raiser, where the Iron Man actress championed for equal pay and called Obama "handsome." Okay, so Paltrow does have quite a reputation for making cringeworthy, out-of-touch comments (remember that whole "I can't pretend to be somebody who makes $25,000 a year" debacle?), but her efforts to support such an important cause should earn her some points. C'mon, she's trying!
A total of 200 supporters of the Democratic National Committee descended on Paltrow's Brentwood, California home for the fund-raiser, which coast them $1,000 a ticket. (A more intimate dinner of 50 guests cost $15,000 a plate.) The event was the first of a three-day fund-raising campaign in California that will see Obama attending three more dinners in L.A. and San Francisco before returning to Washington on Saturday.
When Paltrow took to the microphone to introduce the night's guest of honor, the A-list star became visibly flustered, even giddy, in the presence of the president. Besides telling Obama that she was his "biggest fan," she got down to business and emphasized the importance of securing a Democratic win in the Senate in November's midterm elections. Paltrow told the crowd:
It would be wonderful if we were able to give this man all of the power that he needs to pass the things that he needs to pass.
Before turning the mic over to President Obama, she quipped, "You’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly." Obama returned the compliment by telling the crowd, "I'm taking her to the next event" when he took the mic.
Now, that wasn't Paltrow's only notable comment of the evening. Read on to learn more about the lavish Thursday night event.
The Night's Big Issues
One of the main agendas of the night was to highlight equal pay for women. Since entering into office, Obama has made strides for women's rights, signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, establishing the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force, and in April signed an executive order that helps reinforce equal pay laws for women.
Why Gwyneth Will Become a Target Again
While it's unquestionably noble of Paltrow to throw her weight behind equal-pay legislation, she could use some help in the speech-writing department. Paltrow emphasized the need for equal pay by saying that it was "very important to me as a working mother." This comment is reminiscent of some pretty nauseating remarks she made earlier this year prior to announcing her "conscious uncoupling" from husband Chris Martin:
[Marriage is] much harder for me.... I think it's different when you have an office job, because it's routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening.
Her gripes prompted an open letter from an actual working mother, who called the actress "tone-deaf" and detailed the very unglamorous realities of being a mom with an office job.And just as a reminder, Paltrow makes $19 million a year, according to Forbes.
What Gwyneth Could Learn From Obama
Ironically, Paltrow's best teacher was standing right next to her. Though she may have called Obama a role model because of his presidential duties, Paltrow could also learn a lot from the president's famous speeches. Basically what it boils down to is: Stop using yourself as an example. When you make almost $20 million a year, equal-pay legislature doesn't really apply to you; you champion for it because you have financial sway. Even Obama made that distinction, telling the crowd, which also included Julia Roberts:
Most of the gains in our economy go to the folks who are in this lovely yard. The average person has not seen their wages or incomes go up in the last 20 years.
When championing for the average person, Paltrow needs to start including them into the discourse, and leave herself out. Obama actually handled a similar situation with expert diplomacy and grace. When discussing equal pay at an event in Pittsburgh in June, Obama used his wife, Michelle, as an example, saying:
If Michelle is not being paid fairly, then that's not helping me. I want her to get what she rightfully deserves.
But as quickly as he dropped her name, he made sure to show that he had a grasp on reality:
I will say, the First Lady is kind of a bad example.... Obviously, we're okay.
See, Gwyneth, it's simple? Just do that.
Images: Getty Images (3)