The new documentary Framing Britney Spears has many fans taking a fresh look at how young women were treated by the media in the early-2000s, including Lindsay Lohan. A 2013 interview with Lohan on The Late Show with David Letterman is making the rounds on social media, with many fans criticizing the host for how he talked to Lohan. A younger generation is even getting in on the commentary, though they were only children when it happened.
Letterman is facing backlash from younger viewers over his 2013 interview with Lohan, who visited his show around the time her movie Inappropriate Comedy was released. Lohan had already been through some of the trials and tribulations of her career by then, and Letterman started by asking: "Aren't you supposed to be in rehab?" Lohan explained that she would be checking into rehab soon, and Letterman continued with that line of questioning.
This Lindsay Lohan interview on David Letterman in 2013 is horrifying to watch now. pic.twitter.com/lZxKVvbVB0— 𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐲 𝐭𝐚𝐲𝐥𝐨𝐫 (@treytylor) February 13, 2021
"What are they rehab-ing? What is on their list?" he asked. "What are they going to work on when you walk through the door?" The questions drew laughs from the in-studio audience, though Lohan seemed uncomfortable. She said that Letterman had not mentioned all these rehab questions in their pre-interview meeting.
Lohan said that for her, rehab is an "opportunity to focus on what I love in life." Many fans criticized Letterman for continuing with these questions even further when Lohan seemed to be upset. However, some defended him by pointing out that Letterman himself is a recovering alcoholic.
"You can't make a joke of it, that's so mean," Lohan said in the interview. "You can't do that, it's my show now."
Commenters accused Letterman of contributing to the "stigma of addiction and rehab," and for misogyny, believing that he was talking down to Lohan because of her gender. One person wrote: "I think she was super strong and stood her ground in such an elegant way. It's one thing for people you know to criticize the moments that test your strength, and to have to do that in front of an audience and millions at home? So much respect for her."
All of this retrospective outrage follows the release of The New York Times Presents Framing Britney Spears, a new documentary on Hulu and FX. It examines the media's treatment of Spears in the first decade of the century, and the media's hand in worsening her situation. It also tackles the "Free Britney" movement, which aims to get Spears out of her conservatorship program.