Today on Blogcritics
Home » Why Are Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen Treated So Differently?

Why Are Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen Treated So Differently?

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

I have been watching the reaction to Charlie Sheen’s recent escapade at the Plaza Hotel here in New York City, and I am only surprised by one thing: how come the press treats him differently than someone like Lindsay Lohan, who seems to be constantly vilified in the media?

Of course, this is a rhetorical question, ladies and gentlemen. The reason is obvious: gender plays a decidedly important role in this sort of star-behaving-badly routine. If Lindsay does something like this, we are told she is something lower than a crack whore. If Charlie does the same or a similar thing, he’s a Hollywood bad boy and he’s just being Charlie Sheen.

In my mind this is an injustice to both parties. It is obvious that they both need considerable help. Lindsay is an addict and that is forever. The judge in LA tried to make that clear to her, but we can only wonder if the message sank in. Still, there is no denying that Charlie is also an addict. Though there is a disparity in their ages and genders, in the end the message is clear: a drug addict needs assistance now and for the rest of his or her life.

One of the things that escapes people who seem not to care about plastering Lindsay’s picture on magazine covers and newspaper front pages is this: she is someone’s little girl. There is truth in the fact that no matter what problems her parents may have had—legal or otherwise—this is still their daughter. At 24 she is still rather young, with hopefully a whole life and career ahead of her. It is especially cruel to portray this young woman so negatively, to make her out as such a terrible character: you would think she was as despicable as a serial killer.

Charlie is also someone’s son. His father (Martin Sheen, an actor I’ve always admired) and mother see him as their little boy. But all too often it is the attitude of parents as well as the media that “boys will be boys.” We can see how that has helped other celebrity children of the same gender: Gary Coleman, Corey Haim, and Michael Jackson to name a few. There is nothing so sad and so savagely covered as child celebrity burnout, but someone like Charlie Sheen has been given a pass for the most part. In fact, his whole television show is kind of like a joke based on his real life exploits. He’s made lots of money on this image and this latest incident only capitalizes on that.

The problem here is that Charlie seems to be given a free ride every time he does something wrong. The press almost laughs about his last encounter, writes it off as Charlie being Charlie, and the story ends with everyone laughing. The Lindsay story is quite different. The tabloids are hard on her, and so are the TV magazines and jabbering pundits on talk shows. Everyone is out to exploit Lindsay and stop Lindsay and condemn Lindsay, but I don’t hear anything about saving her.

Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen are victims of many things but most especially of their own poor judgment; however, Mr. Sheen has been given a Get Out of Jail Free card while Ms. Lohan seems destined to spend more time behind bars than drinking in them. Whether or not anyone wants to admit it, everyone from the judge to the reporters to the people watching their TV sets has been too hard on her, mostly because she is a female. This is not only wrong; it is totally unacceptable.

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana has published numerous stories, articles, and poems in literary magazines and online. His books In a Dark Time (1994), A Death in Prague (2002), Move (2003), The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories (2005) and Like a Passing Shadow (2009) are available online and as e-books. He has won the National Arts Club Award for Poetry, but has concentrated mostly on fiction and non-fiction prose in recent years. He has worked as faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with Blogcritics since July 2005, has edited many articles, was co-head sports editor with Charley Doherty, and now is a Culture and Society editor. He views Blogcritics as one of most exciting, fresh, and meaningful opportunities in his writing life.
  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    zing, you’re minimizing the problems of living in a contemporary, liberal society. That’s your MO,the liberal credo you’re addicted to. You picture a perfect or a near perfect world while, truth be told, you’re blind as a bat. And it’s your desire to see the world through rose-colored glasses that makes you so, nothing but wishful thinking.

    I really don’t care to engage in these discussions because they serve no purpose. I you pay me the psychiatrist fee, say $75.00 an hour, I’ll try to set your straight and free. You need a Woody Allen kind of liberation. Move the fuck out of NY, go to California. Get a fucking life because, judging by your postings, it stinks to high heaven.

    Again, I’m sorry I can’t help you unless you deposit a sizable sum of money in my bank account.

  • zingzing

    i have no idea what you’re even talking about at this point. now i’m minimizing the problems of living in a contemporary, liberal society? the whole goddamn thing? because i don’t think gay men want to be women? and ny stinks to high heaven because of it?

    what’s wrong, roger?

    you think i’m blind as a bat, but you’re clearly hallucinating and reading things i’ve never said. how you got from point a to point b on this one is surreal.

    seriously, this is what i said: gay men, in general, don’t want to be women. they’re fine with their gender.

    and this is what you read: we live in a perfect world.

    do you not see that that’s not anywhere near to what i wrote? did you happen to hit your head recently?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Forget it, zing. You’re too obstinate and all too sensitive to have any reasonable discussion with. I’m sorry if your ego gets in the way of your majesty, but to tell the truth, I don’t give a fuck.

  • zingzing

    fine, roger, but if anyone’s ego is on display here, it’s not mine. the conclusions you’ve drawn out of this are mind-boggling. there’s no logic.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Let it be.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    zing…

    cindy said that not even gay men (in gay porn) want to be women because everyone hates women. that’s goddamn ridiculous.

    it would be completely ridiculous, good thing i didn’t say that. you need to write it like this: “zing interpreted” rather than “cindy said”.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    some idea she had was ridiculous. and, as handy says, connected with hateful, bigoted people, which i’m sure is something that cindy is not.

    you understand nothing, including english. how very obnoxious of you to continue on without acknowledging your misinterpretation.

    that analysis of gay porn came from a book entitled Men Confront Pornography. i am pretty sure it was the analysis of a gay male. you don’t understand it and you also don’t understand the rest of the analysis i’ve made.

    there is no possibility discussion between us on the subject unless/until you are able/willing to see things in a new way.

  • Steffy

    I find girls like Cindy really hot