The last time we talked about Lindsay Lohan in March, it was about her unsuccessful attempt to sue Pitbull (and assorted music companies) for using her name in his song “Give Me Everything”. (One of the lines of the song was “I’ve got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan”.)
Lohan believed that Pitbull needed permission to use her name in the song and that the song had caused her emotional distress. The court didn’t agree saying that the song was a protected work of art under the First Amendment.
Since then Lohan has been in and out of court multiple times (as she has repeatedly in recent years), her once good reputation as a talented child star had been ruined. Facing charges ranging from DUI to shoplifting, she has been on probation. In late March of this year, she pleaded no contest to reckless driving and lying to the police as a result of a car crash. In negotiations with the court, she agreed to spend 90 days in a locked rehabilitation facility as part of a plea deal to avoid jail time for violating her probation.
So now she’s out of rehab and here comes Oprah Winfrey. Oprah – who I’m fairly certain has too much money and too much time on her hands or she wouldn’t be going down this rocky road with Lindsay Lohan – and her cable network, OWN, has signed Lindsay Lohan to an exclusive sit-down interview with the Queen of Daytime. That will be followed up with OWN filming an eight-episode documentary series in which camera crews will follow Lohan around and see what trouble she tries to avoid (or – in her own words – as she works to rebuild her career and stay healthy and sober). The reality show is set to debut sometime in 2014.
According to an OWN spokesperson, Lindsay Lohan has turned down reality television shows for years so getting her to do one – and doing it for someone who is arguably still the biggest name in television – is quite a coup for OWN, which has struggled for years to become profitable.
TMZ.com (the site you love to hate but which more often than not has its facts right) reports that Oprah is paying Lohan $2 million for the interview and the reality show, as well as providing her with 2 paid assistants and a stylist. (Contrast this to our favorite reality show family, the Kardashians, who signed a three-year deal in 2012 with E! for 3 more seasons of Keeping Up With the Kardashians worth $40 million. It seems like Oprah is getting quite the bargain).
But here is the rub. Yes, it’s Oprah’s money (or arguably OWN’s money) to do with as she wishes. And maybe this time it really will be different for Lindsay Lohan and she has finally turned the page and is determined to get her life back on track. That might make for interesting television but then again it might not.
Sadly, what would make for far more interesting television (and higher ratings) would be more bad behavior by Lindsay Lohan because reality television tends to glorify those who act badly. (I mean, how entertaining would The Real Housewives of New Jersey be if Teresa Giudice wasn’t flipping tables?) So Oprah may or may not get her money’s worth but think of all the real good this money might have done if it was put into a show focusing on people who perform good deeds without attention, without recognition, without seeking out fame every single day. Seems like a wasted teaching moment for Oprah.