- David Letterman was criticised for a 2013 interview with Lindsay Lohan on social media.
- Letterman prodded Lohan with “insensitive” questions about her “addiction problems” and rehab.
- Fans are praising Lohan for her response to the line of questioning.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
David Letterman has come under fire for asking “insensitive” questions about rehab and addiction during a past interview with Lindsay Lohan.
Rumblings of the controversy began on Saturday when Twitter user Trey Taylor shared an edited clip from the 2013 interview on “The Late Show.”
Lohan, then 26-years-old, appeared on the show to promote “Scary Movie 5,” but much of the exchange focused on her upcoming admittance into rehab and her addiction struggles.
Many people online noted that Letterman’s questions promoted a stigma around addiction and recovery.
“Aren’t you supposed to be in rehab?” Letterman suddenly asked about four minutes into the interview. He then begins to list several questions that humored the in-studio audience.
“What are they rehab-ing? What is on their list? What are they going to work on when you walk through the door,” said Letterman.
Lohan replied that “we didn’t discuss this in pre-interview” before telling Letterman: “I’m the happiest when I’m working. This is an opportunity for me to focus on what I love in life. I don’t think it’s a bad thing.”
Letterman continued to ask Lohan if she had “addiction problems,” prompting a noticeable pause from Lohan.
“Is it alcohol? Do you drink too much?” he asked. When Letterman tried to bring up rehab again, Lohan attempted to pivot back to “Scary Movie 5.”
“We’re here for a movie. Let’s stay on the positive,” Lohan, 34, said.
Letterman then presented a list of things that Lohan has “endured” during her career, characterised in later years as tumultuous, and jokes he planned to make about them.
“Are you ok now? It feels like people should be helping you. Do you have money saved? Therapy? Ask yourself, why always trouble?” said Lohan, reading one of the jokes from Letterman’s list.
Lohan then noted that much of her missteps came from immaturity and struggling with her home life, but she’s focused on personal growth.
Letterman offered words of encouragement towards Lohan but soon attempted to segue back to discussing her recovery.
Lohan briefly scolded Letterman, saying, “You can’t make a joke of it. That’s so mean. No. No, we’re not doing that. This is my show now.”
Fans were shocked by Letterman’s questions and lashed out at him online
After the old clip and interview resurfaced, the words “Lohan” and “Letterman” were trending on Twitter as people shared their reactions.
“David Letterman was so DISGUSTING to Lindsay Lohan here! And everyone laughing at her for going to rehab,” wrote actor Daniel Newman of “The Walking Dead.”
“Nuts to see an adult make fun of a drug addict trying to get help. So happy Culture Loves #AA now & rehab. Everything’s changed. It was so bad then,’ Newman added.
David letterman was so DISGUSTING to Lindsay Lohan here! And everyone laughing at her for going to rehab. Nuts to see an adult make fun of a drug addict trying to get help. So happy Culture Loves #AA now & rehab. Everythings changed. It was so bad then. https://t.co/f3hAVcBS9p
— DanielNewmaη (@DanielNewman) February 14, 2021
i’m in therapy every week and see a psychiatrist for medication and the fact that many people see mental health as a joke is disgusting
it’s not just david letterman it’s the whole team that even approved those questions …fuck that https://t.co/QQkdGizRsP
— AlishaMarie (@ALISHAMARIE) February 14, 2021
Online influencer Alisha Marie wrote that she’s “in therapy every week and see a psychiatrist for medication and the fact that many people see mental health as a joke is disgusting. it’s not just david Letterman it’s the whole team that even approved those questions …f— that.”
One person called the interview “vile on so many levels.”
“The misogyny. The blindsiding. The stigma of addiction & rehab. The hypocrisy of wanting people to recover, but then judging how they choose do so. I hope Lindsay Lohan knows how loved she is. The world has treated her and many others so unfairly,” they added.
This is vile on so many levels. The misogyny. The blindsiding. The stigma of addiction & rehab. The hypocrisy of wanting people to recover, but then judging how they choose do so. I hope Lindsay Lohan knows how loved she is. The world has treated her and many others so unfairly.
— Frank Costa (@feistyfrank) February 13, 2021
Femi Oluwole, the co-founder of the pro-European Union advocacy group Our Future Our Choice, chimed in as well.
“Geeeez. I never knew this happened,” he wrote. “How the hell does David @Letterman still have a job!? Never expected to feel angrily defensive of Lindsay Lohan but here we are!”
Geeeez. I never knew this happened.
— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) February 14, 2021
Influencer Daniel Preda, who split with longtime boyfriend Joey Graceffa last summer, claimed he was in the room during the interview.
Preda wrote: “I was in the room during this interview as it taped and I could have cut the misogyny blanketed as ‘humour’, unprofessionalism and addict stigma in the room with a knife. So many women, including Lindsay, deserve a massive apology.”
I was in the room during this interview as it taped and I could have cut the misogyny blanketed as “humor”, unprofessionalism and addict stigma in the room with a knife. So many women including Lindsay deserve a massive apology. https://t.co/pXPuw0LswH
— Mister Preda (@MisterPreda) February 13, 2021
Others took time to applaud Lohan for her level-headed responses.
“For as bad as Letterman is here, Lohan just nails every response with unbelievable poise,” wrote Dave Jorgenson, a video producer for Washington Post.
Sex and culture critic Ella Dawson added, “I have…. so much respect for how Lindsay Lohan handled Letterman’s blatant attempt to blind-side and humiliate her.”
For as bad as Letterman is here, Lohan just nails every response with unbelievable poise https://t.co/1Wn7C6ul5s
— Washington Post TikTok Guy ???????? (@davejorgenson) February 14, 2021
I have…. so much respect for how Lindsay Lohan handled Letterman's blatant attempt to blind-side and humiliate her. https://t.co/7qqEoucipc
— ella dawson (@brosandprose) February 13, 2021
This backlash is the latest celebrity reckoning to come after “Framing Britney Spears” was released
The sudden reckoning among journalists, the media, and other celebrities was sparked by “The New York Times Presents Framing Britney Spears,” a documentary that explored the #FreeBritney movement and her ongoing conservatorship under her father, Jamie Spears. It also touched on the misogynistic and negative treatment Britney received from the media during her career.
Much of the fallout has been aimed at journalists like Diane Sawyer, who has been criticised for directing sexist comments towards Britney about her breakup with former *NYSNC frontman, Justin Timberlake.
She also appeared to defend remarks made by Kendel Ehrlich, the then-governor of Maryland’s wife, who admitted she would “shoot Britney Spears” if given the opportunity.
In one instance, Timberlake featured a Spears look-alike in his 2002 music video “Cry Me a River,” and the lyrics contained several infidelity suggestions.
Most recently, Britney’s younger sister spoke out in support of Britney and issued a warning to the media.
“Dear media,” Jamie Lynn wrote on her Instagram Stories. “Try not to repeat the mistakes of your past. Look where that got us. Do better.”
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