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After 89 years of being polite, has Betty White decided to start talking smack?
Not exactly -- but she does have some harsh words for certain "ungrateful" Hollywood stars like Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan. In an interview with the UK Daily Mail, the Hot in Cleveland actress goes off on a rant about the culture of today's celebrities.
"They party too much, don’t learn their lines, are unprofessional and they grumble about everything. I think they are terribly ungrateful," White tells the publication.
"I cannot stand the people who get wonderful starts in show business, and who abuse it," the TV veteran continues. "Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, for example, although there are plenty of others, too. They are the most blessed people in the world and they don’t appreciate it."
Well -- she's got a point, doesn't she? Starting a media campaign to insult the TV boss who pays you $2 million an episode -- as Sheen did -- seems like the very definition of ingratitude. Besides, look where White is coming from. She's literally been in TV since its earliest days, and she has the nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic of a generation who lived through war and the Depression. She also hails from a time in show business when bad behavior wasn't rewarded by paparazzi and tabloid attention. Back then, if you partied too hard to show up to work, you simply stopped getting work.
"We considered ourselves lucky to be on the box, never complained if a critic didn’t like us, dressed modestly and were always on our best behavior in public," White recalls of her younger television days.
"There is an enormous population out there, who would sell their souls to do what you do," White advises younger actors to remember. "It’s an amazing life, so make sure you appreciate every minute of it."
When asked by E! News to comment on White's criticism, Lindsay Lohan seemed perplexed and maybe a little hurt.
"Wow," she said. "I've always been a fan of hers. It's just a bit strange when people feel they must speak publicly about others. Especially a grown woman."
We'd encourage Lindsay not to interpret White's statement as a personal attack; she was speaking about a whole culture of celebrity, not saying that Lilo herself was the problem. But obviously, she's a pretty good poster child. Lohan could learn a lot from somebody like White, whose sometimes-hot, sometimes-cold career has paid off in tons of fan affection and lifetime achievement awards. Sheen could learn a lot from her, too, but we suspect he doesn't hear anything anymore except his own voice.