The latest celebrity under fire for his questionable treatment of female celebrities is David Letterman.
Sexual misconduct within the media is nothing new. It's become a normalized concept, were men think it's acceptable to treat women with little to no respect. With release of the Hulu documentary, Framing Britney Spears, misogynistic behavior towards female celebrities throughout the late 90s and early 2000s is under evaluation. The latest celebrity under fire for his questionable treatment of female celebrities is David Letterman.
Previous interviews of Letterman have resurfaced, where the former late-night host is seen engaging in inappropriate behavior with his on-air guests. Among them is a 1998 interview with Jennifer Aniston, where Letterman is seen sucking on a strand of Aniston's hair.
Excuse me while I gag with disgust.
In the resurfaced video, Aniston is discussing an incident involving a group of fans recognizing her in a steam room at her gym, when Letterman scoots towards her saying, "Excuse me if this is rude, I just want to try one thing." Aniston agrees, unaware what Letterman is about to do. Immediately, Letterman reaches behind Aniston's neck, leans into her with his tongue out, and places a strand of her hair in his mouth.
Aniston screams, "What are you doing?" before Letterman returns to his desk, handing Aniston a napkin to wipe the saliva from her hair. Clearly, Letterman is amused by his own behavior, as the crowd cheers and whistles in the background. There's something incredibly grotesque about the overall video. Something primitive and demeaning.
I'm not sure which is more unnerving, the fact Letterman thought it appropriate to invade Aniston's personal space in that manner, or the crowd encouraging him afterwards. Aniston is clearly uncomfortable by this point. I don't blame her. The guy basically assaulted her on live television, and no one batted an eyelash.
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In addition to that 1998 interview, Letterman's 2013 interview with Lindsay Lohan is also garnering attention. Specifically because Letterman prodded Lohan with questions regarding her battle with addiction and mental health, bringing the Mean Girls actress to tears.
"How many times have you been in rehab?" Letterman asks Lohan, to which she coldly replies, "several."
Letterman continues grilling Lohan with questions, such as; "How will this time be different? What are they rehabbing, first of all? What is on their list? What are they going to work on when you walk through the door?"
Lohan shifts uncomfortably in her seat and replies, "I'm the happiest when I'm working, and the healthiest, and I think this is an opportunity for me to, you know, focus on what I love in life, and I don't think it's a bad thing."
You have to hand it to Lohan for keeping her composure throughout the entire interview, despite Letterman's continuous belittlement of her. The entire interview is cringeworthy, right down to the audience laughing at Lohan's expense. When did it become acceptable to joke about someone's mental health and addiction struggles? But the more importantly, why was this behavior tolerable in the first place?
Had these interviews occurred today, they would immediately be met with backlash. Because they occurred prior to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, they was accepted. No one should have to endure the kind of mistreatment these celebrities experienced. Sure, fame has its challenges, but abuse should never be a part of the contract.
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