Netflix has learned there’s big money to be made in premiering controversial documentaries on the platform. One area where they’re really pushing buttons is the health documentary niche filled with so-called compelling evidence, yet ultimately pseudoscience.
Health experts are putting out warnings about this, especially such docus as What the Health where “facts” are often easily arguable when digging deep enough. One of the worst offenders in this category is now Gwyneth Paltrow’s The Goop Lab.
When Paltrow releases on Netflix January 24 (as a docu-series), expect to see a lot more criticism from health experts than it’s already received. Real health pros have been calling it out for upholding pseudoscientific claims without backing up anything with real evidence.
Netflix users are also canceling the platform out of protest, something organized on none other than Twitter.
The battle against false health information
If the controversy only makes Gwyneth Paltrow wealthier due to curiosity seekers calling up the Goop website, at least the public still has some power. The ability to boycott things that harm people still has a lot going for it, even if such endeavors frequently fall apart due to disorganization.
In the age of social media, it’s starting to work much more powerfully. One has to wonder (with a new Twitter hashtag called #SayNoToGoop) whether it’ll become a powerful enough movement to make Netflix take action.
Chances of that are small considering how much money Paltrow already makes from Goop site visits and product purchases. Millions of people still believe in alternative medicine, which shouldn’t be knocked completely as long as research is done first.
What makes The Goop Lab problematic is it doesn’t offer enough evidence to back up oddball health ideas in the series. More than a few critics have already scoped this out.
Enough people take Goop science seriously, despite sometimes hilarious products
Anyone who’s purchased yoni eggs, coffee enemas, or a detox recipe from Goop will know that it’s a mixed bag of possibly healthy items and New Age hokum. Deciding what’s really good for your health and what isn’t makes buying from the company a risky process, outside of millions not seeming to care.
Marketing is so compelling for Goop, it’s no wonder Paltrow now operates a major empire. What’s making the #SayNoToGoop contingent so upset is that The Goop Lab is seemingly using Netflix as a form of infomercial for Goop products.
Those opposed to the docuseries do have a point. Paltrow might be so powerful in the industry now, she was able to persuade Netflix to give her a monumental platform to sell more of the company’s wares.
At least the show does (reportedly) give a caveat at the beginning of each episode they only exist to entertain and nothing more. One has to wonder if audiences watching already know this and realize pseudoscience can work like a reality show where reality is almost non-existent.
What happens if the anti-Goop movements escalate?
Netflix probably doesn’t love hearing the #SayNoToGoop groups are canceling their accounts. Then again, the streaming service may not break much of a sweat either considering they’re still the leading streaming platform in the world.
Because this anti-Goop movement is organizing through Twitter, it’s worth pondering how significant it could become. So many other movements have ballooned into massive rallies thanks to Twitter and other social media forums.
Perhaps Netflix shouldn’t always be so complacent as they have been beyond surviving the recent streaming wars. With their new penchant for airing controversial health documentaries, they could soon run into trouble with them if not legal problems.
Or, they know controversy is always the way to bring in curiosity-seekers. In that regard, they might have latched onto Gwyneth Paltrow’s business model.