You can say a lot of things about the modern Hollywood “Celebrity Class,” but no one has ever accused them of being short on a sense of self worth or ego. Case in point the recent publicity shenanigans by one Ms. Lindsay Lohan.
In case you haven’t heard Ms. Lohan, former teen movie star, is suing E*Trade for $100 million. Why? In a recent commercial, part of the E*Trade series of talking baby ads unveiled at the Super Bowl, one baby refers to another baby named “Lindsey” as a “milkaholic.” Ms. Lohan’s claim is that the American public thinks of only one person when it hears the name “Lindsay” and that she is that person. Furthermore, that this funny little ad has so damaged her career and her reputation that she should be compensated to the tune of $100 Million.
My response: wow! I never thought of Ms. Lohan in reference to this ad until she grabbed some tabloid headlines by filing this suit. This redefines the concept of hubris. Oedipus, the old standard for hubris, pales in comparison to the monumental assessment of self on two levels.
Ms. Lohan is under the delusion that she has become “The Lindsay.” That most of the people in the civilized world think only of her when they hear that name. That by braving rehab a few times, posing for Playboy and making a series of forgettable teen films she has achieved the status of Madonna or Cher. A bold claim when the only Lindsey who has been in the news lately is Ms. Lindsey Vonn a multiple medal winner in the recent Olympic Games.
I did a little experiment with some friends who play tennis and said, “Hey, how about Lindsay making a comeback?” To a person they all remarked that it would be great to see Ms. Davenport back on the courts. I did the same with some musician friends who thought it would be great to see Lindsey Buckingham back with Fleetwood Mac. In politics Lindsey is a Senator from South Carolina. I know that Ms. Lohan spells her name with an “a” instead of an “e” but I put that down to her undereducated parents. If you have never seen any footage of these two, they are a pair of gems.
Let’s set the name thing aside for a minute and move to point number two. For a minute I will concede Ms. Lohan her point that she is “The Lindsay.” Let’s also concede the point that the folks at the ad agency for E*Trade had some ax to grind with her and intentionally used the name “Lindsay” (Do we know that the baby in the commercial isn’t a “Lindsey” for those who wish to split spelling hairs?) as a disparaging reference to Ms. Lohan. How much is she damaged?
The combined total U.S. gross box office of every film Ms. Lohan has made in the last six years is $28 million less than she is asking in her law suit. Maybe she will use her lawsuit winnings to reimburse the producers of those turkeys. Her top salary demand for any film was $7.5 million and that was in 2004 before she put her career and life into self destruct mode. I am guessing I could get her to do a film tomorrow for a new Kia, a pass to the VIP room at the right Hollywood night club and a few Starbucks gift cards. If this ad has done anything it has helped her sagging fortunes by giving her a way to garner a little free publicity.
Oh yeah before I go, if Ms. Lohan should prevail in her lawsuit I want everyone to know that I will be in court the next day. Among those who know comedy and golf I am universally known as “shankopotamus.”