News and PR Insights from 5W Public Relations CEO Ronn Torossian

Lohan Walking Back her ‘MeToo’ Critique

lindsay-lohan

Years ago, actress Lindsay Lohan watched her brand peak, as she was on the fast track to becoming America’s sweetheart. Then, a series of decisions to shift her brand backfired, and Lohan ended up being more of a tabloid target than a Hollywood draw.

Recently, though, the actress chose to re-enter the public conversation. She spoke her mind in an interview with The Times, and the backlash was almost immediate. Lohan’s comments centered on her thoughts related to the MeToo movement, about which she said she was “very supportive” of women, but “can’t go along with the ‘attention seekers’ or trial by social media…”

In these comments, Lohan was echoing what many people have said privately, but not publicly, insinuating that trial by public perception is bad for women overall. If she had stopped there, perhaps there’s no outburst, but Lohan added:

“If it happens at that moment, you discuss it at that moment… You make it a real thing by making it a police report… I’m going to really hate myself for saying this, but I think by women speaking against all these things, it makes them look weak when they are very strong women. You have these girls who come out, who don’t even know who they are, who do it for the attention. That is taking away from the fact that it happened.”

Not long after that interview was published, Lohan realized that, maybe, her instincts were right on this commentary. She should have thought twice before speaking. Now, the actress is walking back her statements, trying to regain ground she lost by apologizing for “any hurt and distress” generated by her comments.

“I feel very strongly about the #MeToo movement and have the utmost respect and admiration for the women brave enough to come forward and speak out about their experiences. Their testimony has served to protect those who can’t speak, and give strength to those who have struggled to have their voices heard…”

These comments came courtesy of People Magazine, and many have said they seem to, at least in part, contradict Lohan’s previous comments. Now, people are asking which position is actually the one Lohan supports?

The resulting uncertainty could damage Lohan’s brand further, making it necessary for her to come back and clarify her previous clarification.

This scenario underscores the importance of having your thoughts clear and your comments prepared when discussing very hot-button issues. It’s one thing to speak honestly and off-the-cuff, but that should never be done without considering the potential consequences and preparing for them. Lohan chose not to trust her instincts, but if she had prepared a more complete comment on this topic prior to the interview, it would have served her much better than a confusing apology.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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