August 2006 Ethics Dunces

Lindsay Lohan's Mother

Lindsay Lohan is Hollywood's latest Bad Girl, a flame-haired former child star who has parlayed post-pubescent success, substantial talent, a voluptuous figure, high-profile romances and a long string of health mishaps into "E!" and tabloid superstardom. She has also been partying a bit too hearty, causing the producers of her latest film, "Georgia Rule," to send her a scolding letter that was released to the media. James G. Robinson, CEO of Morgan Creek Productions, accused her of conduct that he termed "discourteous, irresponsible and unprofessional," and threatened legal action if she did not straighten herself out. "You and your representatives have told us that your various late arrivals and absences from the set have been the result of illness; today we were told it was 'heat exhaustion,'" the producer wrote. "We are well aware that your ongoing all night heavy partying is the real reason for your so-called 'exhaustion.'"

Lohan is all of nineteen years old, which should mean that Backstage Mom Dina should regard the letter as a warning that it's high time she sat dear Lindsay down and gave her, admittedly belatedly, an exhaustive lecture on responsibility, diligence, duties to others, and the basics of work ethics. (The second lecture, tentatively titled "Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Tara Reid, and Why You Don't Want to Follow Their Examples," can wait a while, but not too long.) But Dina Lohan doesn't see it that way. She told an interviewer that the wording of Robinson's letter was "ridiculous," and suggested that the executive, who is not in the habit of sending such missives, was unfair.

"I feel when you are nineteen it is way out of line," she said. "Maybe he has personal issues with whomever and it came out with my child. "I don't know him. I can't judge him. I don't think it was a smart thing to do to a young girl."

Lindsay Lohan is indeed nineteen; she is also an adult whose salary for movies like "Georgia Rule" is in the millions, based on a legally binding contract she signed. A nineteen year-old is no less responsible for meeting her professional and contractual responsibilities than anyone else. If she is not now capable of meeting these responsibilities, then she has an obligation to avoid commitments to make movies until she is, which will be when she grows up. The fact that her mother doesn't seem to understand such a basic fact of workplace ethics explains a great deal about why Lindsay Lohan behaves the way she does.




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