“Saturday Night Live” offered an unusual surprise during this week’s Weekend Update segment: a cameo from Gwyneth Paltrow, which found the actress mocking her lifestyle brand Goop.
For the uninitiated, Goop is Paltrow’s wellness brand, which has produced such controversial products as coffee enemas and jade eggs meant to be inserted into the vagina. The company has routinely been criticized for embracing pseudoscience to sell its products. It has been sued for making unfounded health claims, which the company settled for $145,000.
When recently confronted by BBC News about the claims that her company sells products based on pseudoscience, Paltrow replied, “We disagree with that wholeheartedly. We really believe that there are healing modalities that have existed for thousands of years, and they challenge maybe a very conventional Western doctor that might not believe necessarily in the healing powers of essential oils or any variety of acupuncture – things that have been tried and tested for hundreds of years.”
But Paltrow showed a good sense of humor about her own company Saturday night.
The bit began with Heidi Gardner reprising her role as Goop employee Baskin Johns, who appears on the segment to tout the company’s products despite knowing nothing about them. In the end, she always ends up making outlandish claims about the products.
Johns finds herself in the same boat this go-round, panicking as she described the ingredients in the Goop body wash, which includes ginger and ashwagandha, an herb. But when co-host Michael Che asks what the latter ingredient is, Johns makes up a story about Paltrow visiting Wakanda, the fictional country from Marvel’s “Black Panther,” and finding the herb there.
She grows increasingly flustered, telling Che that if she messes up this interview then she’d have to “go live in Missouri for a year, work at Bath and Body Works and let my roots grow out.” So she asks if she can bring out her supervisor, Goop manager Fifer James.
Cue Paltrow, rolling up in a chair as James and acting like a carbon-copy of Johns.
“Fifer, I need your help because I’m really scared that Gwyneth’s going to fire me,” Johns says.
“No, she doesn’t believe in firing, remember? It’s called ‘conscious unemploying,’” Paltrow’s James responds, a reference to the real-life Paltrow’s divorce announcement which stated she was “consciously uncoupling” from her now-ex, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.
She then attempts to help Johns by selling the “Himalayan salt scrub” which is the “No. 1 salt scrub, rated No. 1 in overall salt.” Like Johns she begins to panic, calling salt “angry sugar” and then repeating “No. 1” in tandem with Johns.
Finally realizing neither of them can correctly hawk their own productions, a confused Che asks what most at home were probably wondering: “What does Goop stand for?” To which the duo says in unison, “Gwyneth Opens Our Paychecks.”