This story interests me, even though it’s celebrity news. Gwyneth Paltrow is claiming she never said British people are more civilized and intelligent than Americans. (I analyzed that comment on its merits here.)
She says she never gave an interview to the paper that published the comment, though she did give a speech in Spanish. From the article:
“This is what I said. I said that Europe is a much older culture and there’s a difference. I always say in America, people live to work and in Europe, people work to live. There are positives in both…Obviously I need to go back to seventh-grade Spanish!”
It could very well be she’s telling the truth. But it’s always struck me, in the age of the Internet, how stars think they can get away with certain comments and behavior in other countries. How could these things ever find their way back home?
Take, for example, the fact that Americans see movie commercials as “selling out” for serious actors. So those actors do commercials in Japan and blow gaskets when Web sites post them for the whole world to see.
Of course, until a biligual person who actually heard Paltrow’s speech comes forward, we won’t know for sure whether it really was a misquote/bad Spanish — or just another act of overseas overzealousness.
Robert VerBruggen blogs at http://robertsrationale.blogspot.com.