David Letterman criticised for 'bullying' female celebrities as past interviews resurface

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Our Foreign Staff
·3 min read
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David Letterman's old interviews are resurfacing online - Reuters 
David Letterman's old interviews are resurfacing online - Reuters

David Letterman, the American talk show host, has come under fire for his past interviews with female celebrities in the wake of documentaries on Britney Spears and Paris Hilton which have shed light on the treatment of female stars in the public eye.

Letterman's 2013 interview with Lindsay Lohan, in which he pestered the actress for details about her addiction issues and plans to attend rehab, was singled out by Twitter users who called the footage "horrifying to watch".

Lohan, who was 27 at the time, had appeared on Letterman's "Late Show" to promote her film "Scary Movie 5" but within minutes of the interview beginning was subjected to a string of questions about her recent struggles with alcohol and drug abuse.

“Aren’t you supposed to be in rehab?” Letterman asked in a clip that has since gone viral online, before adding: “What are they rehab-ing? What is on their list? What are they going to work on when you walk through the door?”

A visibly distressed Lohan shot back: “You can’t make a joke of it. That’s so mean," but Letterman persisted.

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Twitter users hit out at Letterman's insensitivity towards Lohan's addiction battle and accused the presenter of bullying the young actress.

American singer Madison Beer joined the online criticism, writing: "This is so wrong on so many levels. What a personal thing to be put on the spot on TV about."

The clip has resurfaced in light of a recent New York Times documentary called "Framing Britney Spears" and a YouTube documentary on Paris Hilton's experience of abuse as a teenager which have prompted many to re-evaluate the public attacks female celebrities faced.

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"Everyone really did wrong by Lindsay, Paris, Britney and Megan Fox. It’s pretty sad to look back now to see how poorly they were treated," one social media user wrote.

Another clip of an interview Letterman conducted with Hilton in 2007 has also recently resurfaced online, in which the presenter asked the heiress about her recent spell in prison after violating her probation for driving with a suspended licence.

During the clip, Hilton makes clear that she is unwilling to discuss the incident, telling Letterman she has moved on. The talk show host persisted until Hilton finally says she will not answer any more questions on the subject.

The clip has been viewed more than 50,000 times since it was shared online on Monday, with social media users rallying behind Hilton.

“Paris did not deserve this,” one user wrote. Another added, “Horrible way to talk to a young girl, it’s bullying.”

A spokesman for Letterman, 73, declined to comment.