Gwyneth Paltrow is rather infamously out of touch, but she manages to have the occasional moment of self-awareness—something she’s seemed particularly keen on demonstrating as of late. After turning her character into what’s arguably a self-parody in Netflix’s The Politician, she recently got candid about her ignorance with regards to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, telling Jimmy Kimmel, “it is confusing because there are so many Marvel movies, and to be honest, I haven’t seen very many of them. It’s really stupid and I’m sorry, but I’m a 47-year-old mother.” (Also, she added, “I never read stuff.”)
Paltrow carried right along with getting candid at Elle‘s annual Women in Hollywood event on Monday night in Los Angeles, which provided its honorees with the opportunity to give a brief speech. Mindy Kaling, for example, at one point posed the question, “Why is it the sole responsibility of people of color to hire people of color?” Natalie Portman ruminated on how women can achieve equality in the industry, then issued a rallying call: “Fuck up and thrive, sisters!” And Queen & Slim director Melina Matsoukas drew attention to the murder of 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson, who was playing video games with her nephew in Fort Worth, Texas when a police officer shot her inside of her own home on Saturday.
When it came time for Paltrow, on the other hand, she approached the microphone with a massive sigh. “I really wish I had written a speech right now,” she said. “‘Cause I’m drunk and I’m just the lame old white lady.” (She also briefly touched on Goop, which she described as a place “where we can help women eliminate shame. It’s been the most rewarding thing of my life, really.”)
It’s not as if Paltrow needs a pep talk, but to be fair, she’s at least occasionally more than “the lame old white lady.” The actress has also been a service to society in acts both large and small, from helping the New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey expose Harvey Weinstein systematic abuse of women to providing amusement in the form of Instagram captions such as “Me at happy hour pretending to listen to my friends but really thinking about dick.”