Lindsay Lohan Banned from India

Well, not yet, but perhaps soon. After she falsely claimed to have saved the lives of 40 children in a daring raid and a teaser accurately portraying Lohan’s naïveté and minimal understanding of the issue was released, the Indian government is taking an aggressive stance against the child star. They are threatening to ban her from entering the country after noticing she was there on a tourist visa rather than a work visa while filming the documentary last December.

Only Danny Cohen, BBC3’s channel controller, and his team are coming to her defense, with others leaving her out to fry all alone. What a shame. Is it time for Lohan to give up her altruistic aspirations and head back to what she knows best; bedrooms full of shoes and designer clothes? I wish not, but I think so …

Back when we first learned that Lohan was going to star in a documentary about trafficking in India, I think we all scratched our heads in confusion. Of all the celebrities out there, was Lindsay Lohan really the best face to represent the plight of desperate women and children in poverty-stricken regions of India? What insight does Lohan have to offer her viewers (really, I want to know)? Is she only using this opportunity as a publicity stunt?

So far, Lohan has made few friends but many enemies as she blunders along the path to saving the world’s poor. Human rights activists, who have refuted Lohan’s claims of heroism, and the Indian government are standing in her way. Who will be next? I hate to say it, but perhaps Cohen erred in this decision.

But coming to Lohan’s defense, Cohen does makes a valid point. He argues that celebrities are needed to bring attention and publicity to modern day human rights issues, and well, he’s right. Mostly. They are influential in raising public awareness and teaching those who may have had no prior knowledge of the subject. But he fails to understand that not all publicity is good publicity, and assigning a celebrity famous for her wild partying and scandal-making love life to the cause may not have been the best idea. Though Cohen claims that Lohan is a staunch human rights supporter and cares deeply (more than we could ever imagine) for oppressed and exploited children, the public certainly doesn’t see her that way, and asking her to frontline a special documentary on the topic doesn’t do much to fix her otherwise tarnished image or bring positive attention to the cause. Sadly, we still only notice (and really care about) the juicy details of Lohan’s tabloid-making antics.

Lohan has brought the wrong kind of publicity to an issue that struggles to get enough attention as is. And for a documentary with the goal of highlighting the importance of human trafficking and the desperation of its victims, choosing such a controversial celebrity will only serve to mask the human rights concerns at hand as we sit here laughing at her conceit.

Photo credit: alacoolb



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