Imagine reading up on the mounting allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein—the decades of alleged misconduct, the scores of women speaking out against his abuse and harassment—and thinking, “Yep, this is the hill I want to die on.” One can only imagine what was going through Lindsay Lohan’s head Tuesday night when the actress decided to record a short video from her hotel room in Dubai, wading into the Weinstein controversy as only LiLo can. The now-deleted Instagram video shows the former child star testifying to the camera in selfie mode, confessing to her doubtlessly confused fans that, “I feel very bad for Harvey Weinstein right now.”
Referencing Weinstein’s wife Georgina Chapman, who recently announced that she’s leaving the producer in the wake of these powerful allegations, Lohan continued, “I think Georgina needs to take a stand and be there for her husband. He’s never harmed me or did anything to me. We’ve done several movies together. I think everyone needs to stop. I think it’s wrong. So, stand up.” Lohan’s clip, which inexplicably flashes to a black and white filter, is far more compelling than either of the Weinstein-released flops that Lohan starred in. In contrast to Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Lohan didn’t garner any Oscar buzz from her bit parts in Bobby and Scary Movie 5. Still, that didn’t stop the star from wading into the relatively one-sided Weinstein debate, joining the lonely ranks of Harvey defenders (so far, it’s just Donna Karan and Harvey Weinstein himself).
Lohan is used to being misunderstood—literally, whenever she dips into her Esperanto-style accent, and more generally, due to her erratic behavior and increasingly odd political beliefs.
The 31-year-old, who was photographed holding a Quran in 2015 and may or may not have converted to Islam, explained during an interview with Turkish TV network Haberturk last October that, “In Turkey you have free will as a woman, it’s amazing here, you can do what you want and it’s accepted, whereas I am in America and I am holding the Quran and I am the devil.” (Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been consistently accused of restricting freedoms, especially for women, and displaying autocratic tendencies).
The actress’ road to enlightenment hasn’t always been easy—at least according to her. In February, Lohan betrayed a fundamental lack of understanding when she claimed that she was “racially profiled” at Heathrow airport. Lohan recalled in a Good Morning Britain interview that, “I was wearing a headscarf and I got stopped at the airport and racially profiled for the first time in my life…She opened my passport and saw ‘Lindsay Lohan’ and started immediately apologizing but then said, ‘Please take off your head scarf.’” It goes without saying that most cases of racial profiling don’t end in an apology—or involve famous white women.
After Lohan debuted #Lilohan—her approved term for that now-infamous accent, which she describes as “a mixture of most of the languages I can understand or am trying to learn,” people started paying more attention. After all, watching a video of The Parent Trap star trying to explain her plans for a string of spas and Syrian refugee camps at the opening of her eponymous Athens nightclub naturally leads to questions. And questions, in this case, lead to some very strange answers. Take “The world is bigger than five,” a slogan that Lohan pulled out during that viral red carpet interview. The distinctive phrase is a favorite of Turkish President Erdogan, and refers to his belief that the UN Security Council ought to expand permanent membership beyond its current five states (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States).
As The Daily Beast previously reported, this 2016 clip is far from the only example of Lohan spouting pro-Erdogan rhetoric. During her Haberturk interview, Lohan praised Erdogan’s handling of an attempted coup. “Erdogan did really well and his people, really admiring and respecting him, as the first elected president. This is a big deal,” the Herbie: Fully Loaded star insisted (the incident resulted in 300 deaths and left over 2,100 people injured).
Most recently, Erdogan made US headlines when his security detail beat up a group of protesters outside of the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C., as Erdogan allegedly watched the altercation. According to the Turkish President, Donald Trump responded not by condemning violence against peaceful protestors, but rather by calling Erdogan to apologize. Erdogan told PBS NewsHour that Trump had “called me about a week ago about this issue,” continuing, “He said that he was sorry and that he was going to follow up on this issue.” (Lohan also came to the defense of Trump recently, telling people to “stop bullying” him.)
Lohan’s engagement with Turkey extends far beyond her unofficial role as a celebrity Erdogan spokesperson. According to Page Six, the actress is an incredibly popular humanitarian figure in Turkey, even inspiring comparisons to Angelina Jolie. She’s made multiple visits to Syrian refugee camps, where she poses with families and uploads pictures to her Instagram. Describing her experience among the refugees, Lohan explained that, “It was scary for me at the time because I’m entering a world that I know nothing really about and I’m trying to learn about it… But the most amazing experience I’ve ever had was when I went into those container camps and saw what the Turkish people are actually doing for people that are just walking aimlessly and have nowhere else to go, and giving them refuge.”
According to Twitter and common sense, Lindsay Lohan is some sort of tool of the Turkish government—and now she’s adding “Harvey Weinstein defender” to her already full/problematic workload. While it’s important to hold public figures accountable for their shitty opinions, it also bears mentioning that Lohan has had a tough go of it—exploited as a child and allegedly abused by her former fiancé. As Rose McGowan, the alleged victim who’s been leading the charge on social media against Harvey Weinstein, tweeted on Wednesday, “Please go easy on Lindsay Lohan. Being a child actor turned sex symbol twists the brain in ways you can’t comprehend.”