Lindsay Lohan’s Struggles an Age-Old Hollywood Dilemma

Youthful indiscretions are as old as Hollywood's hills

Justin Bieber throws punches, drops trou and urinates in a mop bucket? Promoters and record execs have little or nothing to say. Lindsay Lohan blows probation, zips in and out of rehab and along the way gets accused of grand theft and crashes a few cars? Directors, writers and producers largely stay mum. Amanda Bynes drops a bong on your head from 36 floors up? Keep a tight lip. Nothing is said or done.

At least in public …

Almost 90 years ago, Hollywood was reeling from one scandal after another as the biggest stars in the biz behaved in ways that would make today’s hard-partying celebutantes blush. The showbiz honchos saw a threat to their livelihoods. As the five-column headline on page one of Variety blared, “easing out” of what were called “bad actors” was seen as the cure for those who would “slur” or “leave a stigma.”

It was the dawn of the infamous Hays Code, but if you’re thinking of a ratings board, think again. Warning that those “who may find themselves the center of a scandalous story in the press” are “writing their own ticket of farewell to the screen,” Variety reported that offenders wouldn’t be loudly or even quietly condemned or punished.

Called the “silent system,” Variety ominously noted that “no written notice is sent out to an undesirable.” However, the biz bitchslap would be heard loud and clear when “the player finds that suddenly all demand has ceased among the regular line filmmakers. Turning to the independent producers the repudiated player learns that freelancing is precarious, with a lesser salary and bare prominence.”

Hmmmm … Like going from starring in pictures for Disney and Paramount to co-starring with porn actors in Internet-distribbed films with $300k budgets?

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • David Goodman

    WGA West's David Goodman on Agency Strategy: 'We'll Start Meeting as Soon as Possible'

    David Goodman, who was resoundingly re-elected president of the Writers Guild of America West on Monday, said the guild plans to meet with several talent agencies soon in an effort to ease the impasse over packaging fees and affiliated production. “Many agencies had indicated that they wanted to wait to see the results of the [...]

  • Australian Outback

    Legend Media Seeks Trio of West Australia-China Co-Productions (EXCLUSIVE)

    Perth, Australia-based production company Legend Media is preparing a slate of three feature films to be produced with partners in China. The company styles itself as one that recognizes the opportunities for Asian engagement that have fallen to Australia, through geography, trade and culture. The company aims to make use of the bilateral film co-production [...]

  • David Goodman

    David Goodman Re-Elected President of Writers Guild of America West

    David Goodman has been convincingly re-elected to a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America West, beating Phyllis Nagy in a bitter contest that became a referendum on the guild’s ongoing battle with talent agents. Goodman received 4,395 votes to Nagy’s 1,282 in an election that yielded record turnout among the WGA [...]

  • Issa Rae Portrait

    Issa Rae Developing Re-Imagining of Crime Thriller 'Set It Off'

    “Insecure” star and co-creator Issa Rae is in early development on a re-imagining of New Line’s crime thriller “Set If Off,” which starred Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica Fox and Kimberly Elise. Rae will produce with plans to star in the project. Syreeta Singleton and Nina Gloster have been hired to pen the script. [...]

  • Thomas Golubic GMS Conference

    Guild of Music Supervisors President: 'The Economics of the Job Don't Work Anymore'

    The Guild of Music Supervisors (GMS) hosted its 5th annual “State of Music in Media” conference on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Los Angeles Film School. Featuring a wide array of panel discussions on all manner of issues related to music in film, television and advertising, the confab drew top composers, music supervisors, licensing and [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Film News Roundup: Documentary 'Gay Chorus Deep South' Bought for Awards Season Release

    In today’s film news roundup, the documentaries “Gay Chorus Deep South” and “Tread” find homes, Tobin Bell’s latest horror film completes production and Emilio Insolera joins “355.” ACQUISITIONS MTV Documentary Films has acquired “Gay Chorus Deep South” for release during the fall for awards season consideration. Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, the film world premiered [...]

  • Bad Education

    What 'Bad Education' Taught Us About the Slow Toronto Film Festival Market

    “Bad Education,” a dramedy starring Hugh Jackman as the embezzling superintendent of district of schools in Long Island, N.Y., was set to be this year’s “I, Tonya.” The movie has the same biting tone, shifting between comedy and tragedy. It received strong reviews out of the Toronto Film Festival. And like “I, Tonya,” it even [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content