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Gwyneth Paltrow says her German granny was 'mean as hell'

The Local · 26 Apr 2011, 16:08

Published: 26 Apr 2011 16:08 GMT+02:00

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Speaking to talk show host Chelsea Handler, the 38-year-old US actress let rip after discovering they both had grannies hailing from Germany.

“Mine was a c**t,” Paltrow said during the interview, with the profanity beeped out. “She just hated my guts, basically, and she tried to poison my mother against me.”

Paltrow and Handler said their grandmothers both went by the moniker “Mutti,” which is German for “Mommy.”

“She must not have been very happy and she must have had a lot of pain because she was as mean as hell,” she said.

Handler responded with the jibe: “She was a German and they have a lot to feel bad about.”

Story continues below…

The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:39 April 26, 2011 by Ludinwolf
So was mine too.

She made mum s life a hell and tried to do so with mine too.

I guess not only germans, but many that had to deal with war reality developed traumas that we luckily cant feel it.

I never thought that one day I would be in germany... so here i am and also happy to see that all the people that faced the war are the same.

I got to know many elderly here that talks about war and old times, but dont throw that 'nasty' feeling along with it.
18:45 April 26, 2011 by farkle242
Well - that's okay, because Gwyneth Paltrow is dumb as hell.
18:47 April 26, 2011 by ExpatUSA

"...but dont throw that 'nasty' feeling along with it. "

How would that be possible anyhow? Most people who were *actively* involved during the Nazi time are long dead. The elderly you are talking about were little kids during the war.

The response of Chelsea Handler, that "they have a lot to feel bad about" is uninformed at best.
18:48 April 26, 2011 by Roxt
In all fairness, Paltrow only said her grandmother was mean. Handler stated the prejudice comment. I've not seen this interview and considering how short the article is, it was likely taken out of context.
20:10 April 26, 2011 by jbaker
Mean People are from all Nationalities - Not just Germany. Nice People are from Germany and all other Countries Too. Paltrow is just from a Family with Problems- Like the rest of Humanity.
22:26 April 26, 2011 by Ludinwolf
@ExpatU SA

Im talking about direct and indirect influences.

Like not eating all the food but keeping it 'because tomorrow there will be none'. Be alert when talking to ppl cuz they could tell the police.

I guess even those who didnt die yet, have scares from that time. I just didnt want to lose out here much details from family, as it was and is sad remarks made into their lives.


I agree. I just agree with most of us here also cuz it is what we are experiencing at the present moment... ,
22:46 April 26, 2011 by wxman
Well, that's it. You all better pay attention, since Paltrow is an expert on everything, just ask her.
23:33 April 26, 2011 by willowsdad
"She was a German and they have a lot to feel bad about."

In the USA, it's taboo to publically make blanket negative statements about almost any group....except Germans. And almost any time Germans or Germany are mentioned, you can be fairly sure a comment like Ms. Handler's is soon to follow.

Americans, of course, have absolutely nothing to feel bad about. Unlike the Germans, we have no genocide, slave labor or expansionist wars to trouble our waking slumber...
00:14 April 27, 2011 by Nina Williams

How silly it is to take the comment of one second rate comedienne and apply it to an entire nation of people. Furthermore, considering that a large percentage of white Americans have some form of German ancestry I doubt that jokes of Ms. Handler's calibre are as common as you proslytize. But of course feel free to make a blanket negative statement like that idiot Chelsea Handler.
02:00 April 27, 2011 by FredFinger
They're all as mean as hell, just ask anyone they overran in WW II.
03:09 April 27, 2011 by Altdude
My Scots paternal grandfather was meaner'n hell. They had to hire pallbearers for him even though he had numerous grandsons.
05:33 April 27, 2011 by willowsdad

I should've been more specific: the jokes and commentary come largely from the entertainment sector.

Fred: yes, other countries are much nicer when they overrun someone.

Altdude: both my wife and my mother had mean Scots grandmothers. Strangely, this never prompts comments about how mean Scottish people are in general.
05:59 April 27, 2011 by JAMessersmith
¦quot;She was a German and they have a lot to feel bad about.¦quot;

Yes, like the near total extermination of the American-Indian, the mass enslavement of Sub-Saharan Africans, and Jim Crow apartheid... Oh wait, that was America, not Germany. But of course, Americans don't feel bad about that.
09:59 April 27, 2011 by auniquecorn
Wow, it only took 8 comments before America fell into the picture, You guys are slacking.
11:26 April 27, 2011 by Angry Ami
LOL, LOL, LMAO, and so now all the Germans reading this are going to get their feeling hurt, awwww, tell that to the 2 grannies who had the young mother with the crying baby kicked off the bus in Hamburg in the middle of winter, pleas explain, or all the dirty looks that old women give to parents with kids on the train or bus, or the fact that more grannies have gone to court to try and stop kids from making noise while playing nearby, fortunately the judges had enough sense to change that law, please explain, I witness an argument between some old bag and a dad next door, she complained that the kids were too loud and she couldn't concentrate on her reading, kudos to him for telling her to F*** off, so I'M still waiting for an explanation, at least in the southwest they are a bit more tolerant, but here in Berlin not a chance, but even as bad as it can be here, no BVG bus driver would kick a young mom off a bus because of a crying baby, so Hamburg must really suck, no kids no future, I'll be back later for the explanation ;-)
12:16 April 27, 2011 by Zobirdie
What, Gwyneth... she didnt think that you were special? Awww...

As for the other woman... what a complete racist. Wow.
12:33 April 27, 2011 by zeddriver
You are only partly correct JAMessersmith. Yes. We treated the Indians badly. But since then. The American government has gives the Indian nation tax free status, Free homes, And as an Indian. If you can get into a university. The American government would pay for that education. And guess what. They very rarely take care of the free homes. And only a tiny portion even attempt to take advantage of the free education offer. At least we tried to make amends.

And Sub-Saharan slavery was invented by other rival Sub-Saharan tribes. And those slaves where put to work by the Egyptians, The Middle east, And of course Europe. Long before America even existed. The start of slavery in the colonies of north america was a %100 European import.

And once again we tried and even ended up fighting a civil war to make amends. And change.

The same with Jim Crow. Big mistake. But was ended via a civil rights act.

In the end. Every nation has had it's share of problems. And there are mean people everywhere. These days when everyone looks at America. They tend to look through a microscope pointing out the tiniest of flaws. But when looking towards Europe. Everyone will first put on the rose colored glasses. And trade the microscope for a Kaleidascope.
17:27 April 27, 2011 by Roxt
People, come on, really? I'm getting sick of this "we're better than you" - "no, we're better than you" crap. None of us are superior. We all screw up as individuals and our respective countries/governments screw up... most of the time. Stop pointing at history and work on today! WWII, okay, get the hell over it. Civil War... get over it. There are real issues our countries and the world are faced with today and we're all going to sit around and b*$% at each other for what our ancestors did?
22:50 April 27, 2011 by hrt1
@zeddriver While I truly admire U.S.'s efforts and abilities to change, I think you're too naive to think that you can amend history in such short time with very limited efforts. Native Indians are pissed off at schools during their youth and the Civil War only stopped naturally because it hurted themselves too much. Your easiness about "amends" explains the deficiencies of many U.S. people understanding why they ever had 9/11.
00:34 April 28, 2011 by victoryslice
My Grandmother was German and was the kindest person I've ever met. I guess that cancels hers out?
00:39 April 28, 2011 by vonkoenigsberg
It's true, the public in the U.S. are allowed to make blanket statements about Germans and no one else for a reason - the Germans in the U.S. have no political spine. They are afraid to speak against anything because of long-felt shame and humility. Germans are proud by nature and shouldn't have to take derogatory remarks. They have rights like everyone else.

BTW...Gwyneth Paltrow is just desperate for attention, as made clear by the shock-value she hoped to acheive by calling her Mutti a c---. No class.
01:29 April 28, 2011 by zeddriver
@hrt1 So how long is long enough to not be mad about history. 100 years, Maybe 1000 years. Should America hand over the keys to the Sioux nation. Or should it be the African-Americans.

My family was kicked out of England 300 years ago for being Quakers. I guess they owe me something. they should make me king. Or at least give me a bunch of money. Or how about this. How about I work for the future good of my family instead of being pissed about something that i can't change.

As for 9/11 who knows. I think it's far to complex to figure out in a forum. I do know that a lot of the modern era problems in the middle east can be liked to the league of nations along with the old British Empire politicians putting new lines on maps where they shouldn't be. And the middle east has had anger issues for thousands of years. If it wasn't for one reason they would have found another reason for attacking the west.

I don't hate Germans because of what their government did so long ago. But I feel the hate toward me has an American because of what my government has done. No one seems to understand that 100% of all the worlds governments do not always do what the people want. So maybe the anger should be directed towards those politicians. Instead of the citizens of what ever country one has an issue with. I have no more control over Mr. Obama than the average German has over Mrs. Merkle. The best i can do is to vote a politician out if they don't measure up.

But it is so easy to hate.
04:13 April 28, 2011 by volvoman9
These women are both indicative of the pampered self indulgent class of celebrity that plagues America. They are an embarrassment to us as they have little class or bearing and seem to think that their shallow success affords them the latitude to imagine that their opinions are meritorious.

The Holly wood set has always perplexed me with their self importance and the pervasive belief that they matter. This attitude has permeated much of American culture and is at the root of it's recent and continuing decline.
06:46 April 28, 2011 by parografik
My grandmother claimed she was from Italy in a suspiciously stereotypical accent, but she could be mean at times. I believe there's a german hanging somewhere on that branch of the family tree. I can't think of any other explanation, offhand.

My grandfather was a wonderful whistler, so I'm suspecting he descended from one of the seven dwarves. Can see no flaws in this line of thinking.
21:36 April 28, 2011 by derExDeutsche
German's have a mean streak. A good lot of them are misanthropes. Just visit this comment section here for all the proof you'll need.

if they ask why we left in the first place. say we were young and we were so in love. i guess we just needed space. we heard about this place they called the united states. we found out virginia really is for the lovers. philly is full of friendly friends that will love you like a brother. pensacola parties hard with poppers pills and pepsi. ybor city is tres speedy but they throw such killer parties.

never regretted the move.
23:13 April 28, 2011 by hrt1

How long it may take to be not mad about history?

Very simple - sometime after such history has stopped to repeat.

Many Germans still feel guilty or ashamed about WWII, and this sentiment is what most Americans lack when they talk about their country.

North American Slavery? That used to be a cash-cow for Englishmen some centuries ago.
00:11 April 29, 2011 by zeddriver
@hrt1 first, Thanks for the civil debate.

I have never heard anyone I know, Nor anyone on the television in America ever say that the way Indians, And African slaves were treated as being a good thing.

And I do not expect any apologies or wringing of hands by the Germans I meet concerning WWII. In fact, I fully understand why at that time in history the German people accepted the regime that came to power. The German people were treated very badly via the treaty of Versailles. And it caused must economic hardship for Germany. And the people were desperate and hurting. And of course a mad man came along and took advantage of them.

My main point is that if a group of people get so caught up in the bad memories of what has happened in the past. It can block ones vision of how to work towards a good future.

For most of my life. I have lived in the black hills of South Dakota. The heart of the Sioux nation. I once met a nice gal that was on her way to attend an Ivy League university. Paid for by The American government. When I asked her about why more of her people did not take advantage of this. She said that her people were so mired in the hatred of what happened in the past. That they refuse to accept anything from the white man. So their hatred ends up being self defeating.
05:01 April 29, 2011 by DOZ
The Whiteman is evil and always has been. Remember the 1st slave plantation was started by the Dutch for the pupose of growing Coffee.
15:35 April 29, 2011 by Curmudgeon
Slavery has been around for thousands of years, and continues today. The Bible speaks of slaves. The Romans didn't heat the bath houses in Britain with paid labour, it was with the enslaved locals.

Slavery from Africa would not have succeeded without the co-operation of some of the coastal tribes. Look behind the obvious to see who played a prominent role in the African slave trade. Professor Tony Martin has written and lectured on this topic.

Remember, there were white slaves in America as well.

As for Paltrow's comments, i ask whether Katherine Danner is alive, and if so, what did she think of Paltrow? Additionally, given that this web site:


lists Paltrow's religion, how accurate is the description of Paltrow's grandmother being German?
16:55 April 29, 2011 by digital47
Remember that the victor writes history and therefore forms the opinions. The Americans simply hate the Germans because of the nearly always negative TV coverage. There is not a night that goes by where we don't see Hitler on one of the 500 Satelite TV channels. This is really funny when you think most of America's politicians are taking page by page directions out of the Third Reich play book.
16:57 April 29, 2011 by Flint

Gwyneth also hates America. She's just an airhead celeb who was raised as a spoiled brat. In her defense, you'd be pissy too if you'd married the lead singer of a lame-assed band.
19:34 April 29, 2011 by MarshaLynn
I have ZERO interest in the opinings and opinions and general rantings and ravings of any Hollywood stars. Just because they can act, dance, sing, and tell jokes, suddenly they are deemed to have important opinions that influence an entire nation. They are generally dysfunctional narcissists with drug and alcohol problems and multiple marriages. I am sorry for anyone with so many problems, but they should not be in a position to influence an entire nation with their clueless yammering. And the rest of us should have something better and more worthwhile to do with our lives than pay attention to these losers.
22:56 April 29, 2011 by MichaSeifert-Weiss
Why all the tension? So Paltrow had a grannie from Germany who was mean as hell? What, and no one else has had this experience? Is she not allowed to speak about her abusive grandmother? Goodness me!

And how does this digress into a slinging match about racial vilification? One person comments on a nasty grandparent (my violent grandfather was a real piece of work!)and so many assume racism plays a role.

Angry AMi, when is it ever appropriate for neighbours (let alone parents whoset example to their children) to use that language? If children are intolerably loud, there are parks to play in, clubs to attend. When we have children we continue to participate in a social dynamic, and there are necessary rules for us to be able to develop respect for all, especially those who contributed to getting us to where we are today - respecting elders is still important.
01:57 April 30, 2011 by Matt in Florida
Considering she works in hollywood and has a rabbi on her father's side, not likely she is going to say much nice about Germans on her Mother's side.
14:48 May 9, 2011 by willowsdad
Micha: Read the article. The problem isn't that she made comments about one person, but that she generalized that to an entire people. What do you think would've been the response if she'd gone on about a mean Jewish grandmother and extrapolated a negative comment about Jews in general from that?
20:28 May 13, 2011 by brian hagen
Chelsea Handler is Jewish. If it weren't for the Jewish backing from the Hollywood

community, she'd be out on the street. Most Hollywood Jews will do and say any-

thing to slam Germans.
19:00 May 15, 2011 by willowsdad
Careful, Brian. You're veering dangerously close to practicing what you condemn.
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