Two prominent Hollywood unions are investigating the Lifetime movieÂ Liz & Dick,Â The Hollywood ReporterÂ has learned, with the moves coming in the wake of reports over the weekend that starLindsay LohanÂ suffered from âexhaustion and dehydrationâ from overwork and that two crewmembers went to the hospital for the same reason.
The alleged problems on the biopic aboutÂ Elizabeth TaylorÂ andRichard BurtonÂ first became public Friday, whenÂ reportssurfaced that Lohan had been found unconscious in her Marina del Rey hotel room and taken to the hospital by L.A. Fire Department paramedics. Those reports were later corrected: It turned out that Lohan was asleep, not unconscious, and had not been taken to the hospital.
ut according to a statement from Lohan publicistÂ Steve HonigtoÂ KABC-TV, the paramedics who arrived at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel did determine that Lohan was suffering from âsome exhaustion and dehydration.â He said: âLindsay worked a grueling schedule the past few days. She was on set last night at 7 p.m. and worked through the night until 8 a.m. this morning.â
Lohanâs attorney,Â Shawn Holley, said, âAs I understand it, she was exhausted after shooting nonstop for two days.â Lohan herself tweeted that she had worked â85hours in 4days.â
If accurate, some of those figures could exceed union regulations and/or state labor laws.
In a statement toÂ THR,Â actors union SAG-AFTRA said, âWe’re looking into this matter but can’t yet provide any verified information.â A spokeswoman added, âOur people are on it.â
IATSE, the union that represents movie and television crewmembers, declined comment. However, a source toldÂ THRÂ that âthe business agents are looking into long hours on the production.â
Lifetime referred questions to producerÂ Larry Thompson, who said through a spokesman, âWe have not been contacted by anyone at SAG-AFTRA about any complaint … [or] by anyone at IATSE about any investigation.â He added, âWe are in total compliance with all guild regulations onÂ Liz & Dick.â
Lohan explained the matter thusly in aÂ pairÂ ofÂ tweetsÂ Saturday: âNote to self.. After working 85hours in 4days, and being up all night shooting, be very aware that you might pass out from exhaustion & 7 paramedics MIGHT show up @ your door…. Hopefully theyre cute. Otherwise it would be a real let down.â
The story widened beyond Lohan on Sunday, when Deadline reported that two crewmembers in the hair department left the production due to exhaustion and that a source said theyâd gone to the hospital with âsevere dehydration and exhaustion.â
The exhaustion incidents occurred a week after Lohan â who playsÂ Taylor in the movie â was involved in aÂ car crashÂ about nine hours after wrapping a day of shooting at 3 a.m. She and a passenger reportedly were bloodied and bruised by the accident, in which Lohanâs Porsche rear-ended a dump truck on Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica.
Lohan reportedly told people at the scene that the truck cut her off and the accident was not her fault. PoliceÂ saidÂ that Lohan was not impaired, but they had not determined a cause of the accident as of the last reports. In particular, whether exhaustion was a factor has not been reported. Shooting on the picture had begun five days earlier.
Union rules limit the number of hours that cast and crew can work and provide for minimum rest periods between one day of work and the next. In addition, star contracts often contain even more protective provisions of this sort. However, cast and crewmembers often are reluctant to complain about violations, for fear of being branded as troublemakers and becoming unemployable as a result.
Although stars usually are chauffeured to and from the set, other castmembers, and crew, usually drive themselves — as do stars during off periods, as Lohanâs accident illustrates. Driving combined with long hours can be fatal, as explored in the 2006Â documentaryÂ Who Needs Sleep?Â TheÂ Haskell WexlerÂ film was prompted by the death of assistant cameramanÂ Brent Hershman,Â who fell asleep behind the wheel in 1997 after a 19-hour day on the set.
The unions are likely to take the matter seriously, if indeed rules were or are being broken. SAG-AFTRA toldÂ THR: “Our contracts protect members on the job, and if these kinds of situations are occurring and our members advise us about it, we will contact production and make certain that the contract is being adhered to in all aspects — particularly including performersâ safety.â
Source: Hollywood Reporter