A 2007 interview between David Letterman and Paris Hilton has social media up in flames after users accused the talk show host of treating the latter unfairly.
The interview resurfaced on Instagram on Feb. 16, thanks to the meme account @literally.iconic. A cut of the interview shows Letterman bluntly asking Hilton how she liked “being in jail” right after he had asked her whether she preferred New York City or Los Angeles. The abrupt transition stuns Hilton, who maintains a smile as Letterman repeatedly continues to get a reaction out of her.
“Wasn’t it horrible?” he asks her. “And you know what? They locked up your friend Nicole [Richie]. She was only in for a short period of time, wasn’t she?”
The host then tries to jokingly get Hilton to tell the audience what she’s learned from her stint in jail, but Hilton maintains her composure.
“Well, obviously, it was a very traumatic experience,” she says in response. “But I did it, so I feel like I can do anything now. People think that I was really strong that I went through it, but I’ve moved on with my life so I really don’t want to talk about it anymore.”
But Letterman doesn’t seem to want to let the subject go.
“Well, you and I are different because this is all I want to talk about,” he says.
The talk show host continues to pepper Hilton with questions before she stands her ground.
“I’m not answering any more questions about it,” she tells him. “I’m here for my clothing line and my movie and my perfume, and I’m not here to talk about that.”
Letterman, however, doesn’t seem to get the message, as Hilton becomes visibly annoyed. At another point in the interview, Letterman finally asks Hilton about her fragrance before mockingly spraying it in the air and “drinking” from the bottle of perfume itself.
“Since the #FramingBritneySpears doc I’ve been thinking about other older interviews with female celebrities where they got bullied, harassed and made fun of on national TV by men who got away with it too easily, while these women had to deal with life time problems,” @literally.iconic wrote in the caption of the video, referencing the Britney Spears documentary produced by FX and The New York Times. “Here is Paris Hilton and David Letterman, she came there to promote her newest fragrance but he thought this bullying and character assassination would be better for his show.”
Instagram users largely agreed with @literally.iconic’s assessment, panning Letterman for his condescending behavior.
“I am so happy David Letterman is finally getting blasted for how he has treated people especially women!” one person wrote. “He is no one to be admired, he is a paid bully with no class.”
“So uncomfortable to watch,” another added. “Imagine how she felt.”
“He needs to be canceled,” a third simply wrote of Letterman.
The talk show host also recently came under fire for his 2013 interview with Lindsay Lohan, in which he was similarly accused of talking down to the actress while asking about her time in rehab.
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