David Letterman has become the subject of controversy after a 2013 interview with Lindsay Lohan made the rounds on TikTok and Twitter. The former late-night host particularly caught flack for prodding into the Scary Movie 5 and Freaky Friday actress’ rehabilitation process.
“Aren’t you supposed to be in rehab?,” Letterman asks Lohan, who appeared on The Late Show to promote one of her upcoming films.
Upon telling Letterman the date she’s set to check into a facility, Lohan continues to answer the host’s seemingly endless questions about rehab.
“What are they rehab-ing? What is on their list? What are they going to work on when you walk through the door?” Letterman continues as he gains laughter from the in-studio audience
Tight-lipped about her personal and private battle, Lohan says that questions about rehab were not mentioned in the pre-interview and explains that rehabilitation is an “opportunity to focus on what I love in life.”
Despite Lohan’s hesitation to answer the first handful of questions, Letteman continues to prod about the specifics of her rehabilitation – whether she’s going for alcohol use, if she has money and if she’s considering therapy.
“You can’t make a joke of it, that’s so mean,” the actress says to Letterman. “You can’t do that, it’s my show now.”
Twitter user @treytaylor shared the clip on Saturday morning, noting that the 2013 interview “is horrifying to watch now.”
Replies to the 2013 interview chastised Letterman for “the misogny” and for perpetuating the “stigma of addiction & rehab.” While some users continued to call Letterman “rude” and “unprofessional” for his personal questions, others praised Lohan for her poise and maturity.
“I think she was super strong and stood her ground in such an elegant way,” Twitter user @TanayaLeigh_ wrote. “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.”
The outpouring of support for Lohan during the interview came at the heels of a Craig Ferguson monologue that also recently went viral. In the interview, the former Late Late Show host defended Britney Spears against harsh jokes and jabs about her personal life and struggles.
Support for Spears and Lohan comes as Hulu’s The New York Times Presents Framing Britney Spears shines a spotlight on media treatment of Spears, and young women in general, during the early aughts.
Letterman’s reps did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
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