Why I Don’t Mind Lindsay Lohan Attending The WHCD, Landing Elizabeth Taylor Role
1:30 pm, April 30th | by Laura Donovan
For someone who hasn’t really worked since 2007, actress Lindsay Lohan is quite a news maker. The 25-year-old, who is better known for her partying habits than her roles, most recently made headlines not for walking around with mysterious powder on her shoes, but for snagging the part of the late Elizabeth Taylor in the upcoming “Liz & Dick” and being invited to attend this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner (WHCD) by Fox News host Greta Van Susteren. News outlets finally had an opportunity to report on the young New Yorker’s work life rather than her substance usage, and I was actually very pleased about this change.
But the media wasn’t about to let Lohan off easily for trying to further her career and seemingly get her act together. Barry Koltnow of the Miami Herald wrote that Lohan’s inclusion in the new movie is a slap in the face to the deceased Taylor: “We’re all growing tired of hearing how talented [Lohan] is, but when was the last time she proved that – when she was 11? It is an insult to Elizabeth Taylor’s memory to allow this troubled young actress to portray her, particularly as a ratings stunt.” Comedienne Rosie O’Donnell made a similar point about Lohan’s less-than-impressive resume, suggesting that the fiery redhead’s last solid performance was in the 2004 instant classic, Mean Girls:
“I feel sorry for her. I think she needs a lot of help, she needs a lot of time away…She’s had a lot of trouble doing every single movie, including ‘SNL.’ She was out and not at rehearsal. She’s not in a place to work…The last thing she did good she was sixteen.”
Though accepting an invitation to the WHCD could have been viewed as a wise professional move as well as a step in the right direction, Lohan faced backlash for mingling among the movers and shakers of our country at the lavish affair. Daily Beast columnist Meghan McCain seemed puzzled by Van Susteren’s decision to bring Lohan to the event, as the television powerhouse recently protested Louis C.K.’s hosting of this year’s Radio & Television Congressional Correspondents’ dinner due to his hateful and disgusting jokes about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
And Internet critics weren’t the only ones trashing Lohan for scoring a ticket to the WHCD. John Coale, Van Susteren’s husband, told The Jane Dough that Lohan walked past many people complaining about her presence at Saturday’s gathering. Coale, however, said Lohan was “gracious” and a pleasure to host:
“She was great, I mean it gets irritating. I had Kim Kardashian and her, so everyone was sticking cameras in her face, but she was gracious. When you get her talking about her movie and the technology of movie making and acting, she is brilliant.”
“She missed the plane, but she went to brunch, took pictures with lots of people. She walked past people who complained she was invited. We went to the pre parties at the Hilton, at the table there was a constant flood of people coming up to us, but we’ve done this a lot over the years.”
Coale recognizes that Lohan is doing what she can to massage her reputation and get back into the acting scene, and there’s nothing smite-worthy about that:
“She is trying…she got off probation, she got the part in the [Elizabeth Taylor] movie, she’s trying.”
Lohan has a sordid past and a history of frustrating others with her tardiness — most recently during a guest appearance on Glee —- and quite frankly, a lot of people probably want to pigeonhole her as the troubled ex-child star who seeks chaos and gives onscreen entertainers a bad name. But here is a woman who is trying to put the pieces of her life back together and start working again. Her public image isn’t cutesy and wholesome like Taylor Swift, but Lohan is making an honest effort to clean up — at least publicly, and I can imagine that’s rather hard to do when writers callously argue the only way you can redeem yourself is through death. I believe Lohan is fully capable of making a comeback, and it’s time for everyone else to give her a chance to shine again as she did in The Parent Trap and Georgia Rule.