Nearly three years after her initial DUI arrest, Lindsay Lohan is on her way to jail.
Legal experts will have their own opinions about whether her sentence was overly harsh, and certainly Lohan thinks it was. However, I’m a card-carrying member of the party that believes this is likely the wake-up call that she needs.
Lohan has been caught with drugs, arrested for multiple DUIs, been a no-show in court — and that’s just the bad behavior that’s been documented. Lohan, both professionally and personally, has snubbed her nose at the systems put in place to protect her.
To be clear: this exercise of passing go, making excuses, showing abject disrespect for those trying to help her and then going to jail should not be filed under the category of “this is what happens when child stars go bad.” That would be too convenient a label to slap on the situation. Instead, Lohan at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, Calif., is a culmination of a perfect storm of failures, a storm in which the actress took up residence at its epicenter.
She was failed by film producers who largely allowed her to be unprofessional; it was easier to look the other way when she was late or absent or demanding rather than put up with her tantrums when the rules were enforced. (The notable exception here is Morgan Creek Productions, which reprimanded Lohan for being late repeatedly on the set of “Georgia Rule.” Coincidentally, this was her last critically acclaimed film).
She was failed by her parents, who were at best, attention-hungry themselves (look no further than the behavior of her estranged father Michael, who shouted “I love you, Lindsay” in the courtroom Tuesday as she was being remanded into custody). At worst, they were enablers, as was the case with her mother Dina, who was often her escort at New York nightclubs when Lohan was still a teen, partying alongside her daughter, and has yet to say that her daughter might need more help than she can offer.
Can Lohan come back from this? Yes, she can. Hollywood is forgiving — as long as you make some money — and so is America. We love a comeback story. Hopefully, walking into jail begins the first chapter for Lohan.
Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on today.msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter @courtneyatmsnbc.