New year, same Goop.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand is once again entering shoddy wellness claim territory, this time through a new show on Netflix. The series, called “The Goop Lab,” dives into fads and ideas that “may seem out there or too scary,” according to the trailer.
The clip only provides a snippet of what viewers can expect, but it’s enough to make any rational health professional’s stomach churn. The “ideas” that “The Goop Lab” trailer highlights include energy healing, which one woman describes as an “exorcism,” psychedelics, which another describes as equivalent to “years of therapy in about five hours,” cold therapy, psychic mediums and more.
It’s all very on-brand for Goop, which has been hit with criticism (and even a lawsuit) for its promotion of dangerous wellness products and ideas. In the past, the brand has suggested that women put jade eggs in their vagina, wear energy balancing stickers, take iodine supplements even though most people aren’t deficient, and drink goat milk to get rid of potential parasites, all in the name of their health.
The claims often aren’t backed by science, and the company has had to introduce more clear disclaimers on articles indicating that fact. Experts have continually debunked the advice on the site.
A few people also got in some snarky digs at the show’s promo poster, which, uh, looks like the body part Goop wants you to stick a jade egg in.
This isn’t all Goop’s fault, though. Netflix also has a history of producing irresponsible health programs that could potentially affect viewers.
The streaming service received intense backlash in 2017 following the release of its fictional show “13 Reasons Why,” which graphically depicted a young woman’s suicide. Experts criticized the show for its portrayal of self-harm and mental health, and research has found that suicide rates increased following the show’s release. Therapists also expressed serious concerns over Netflix’s 2017 fictional drama “To The Bone,” which follows one girl’s journey with an eating disorder.
In 2018, Netflix received more scrutiny for its docuseries “Afflicted,” which featured individuals living with rare chronic diseases. Cast members published essays following the show’s release that detail their concerns over how it depicted their conditions as “psychosomatic or psychiatric disorders” rather than separate illnesses. The series relied “heavily on the skeptical voices of ‘experts’ who have no relevant professional or academic expertise in our diseases,” they wrote.
This is all dangerous, considering the number of people Netflix reaches. As of 2019, the platform had over 150 million subscribers. That gives Goop — and any other program that could contain questionable health advice — a major audience. Netflix did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Bottom line? People should take Paltrow’s new show with a heavy dose of disbelief and get real health advice from their doctor. If we’ve learned anything from the lifestyle brand’s wellness information, it’s that it’s mostly just a bunch of goop.
New year, same Goop.