This is the Friday question I've gotten from about fifty people over the last three hours. What is my take on the whole Charlie Sheen/CBS debacle. The latest development is that CBS and Warner Brothers have discontinued production on TWO AND A HALF MEN for the remainder of this season. And who knows if it'll ever return? My thoughts...
There’s a great movie from 1957 called FACE IN THE CROWD. It was directed by Elia Kazan and beautifully written by Budd Schulberg. In this film Andy Griffith plays a charismatic good ol’ boy who becomes an overnight sensation. As his fame and power grows he becomes more and more of a hateful monster. And finally, as the end credits are rolling on his live television show, thinking the microphone is off, he starts telling the audience what he really thinks of them – that they’re stupid sheep. This causes a huge uproar. He’s exposed for the asshole he is and his career is ruined. As a TV writer, I think it’s the feel-good ending of all-time.
I’ve always lamented that today you could never remake that movie (even with Russell Brand) because stars shit on their audience all the time now, and practice abhorrent behavior, cheat on spouses, commit crimes, make scandalous sex tapes, physically abuse people, whatever – and it never damages their career. In some cases it even improves it.
Luckiest of all was Charlie Sheen. It seemed no matter what this psychopath did, fans returned to TWO AND A HALF MEN. I’m sure O.J. thinks that his big mistake in slaughtering two people in cold blood was not starring in TWO AND A HALF MEN.
Well Charlie Sheen has now had his FACE IN THE CROWD moment. Finally! It is soooo long overdue.
He strikes his wife and gets away with it, shoots an ex-fiancé, trashes hotel rooms, abuses hookers, goes on drunken tirades, violates parole, is allowed to rehab at home (what a joke that is), and pisses on anyone who attempts to help him conquer his demons, so naturally he thinks he can get away with anything. Including an ugly anti-Semitic tirade against Chuck Lorre, the man who suffered with and tolerated this ungrateful maniac for 177 episodes. I guess Charlie must’ve felt, “Hey, Mel Gibson got away with it without any repercussions, so can I?” Well, whattaya know? He was wrong. Seems drugs and alcohol do not help you think clearly after all. And before you Tea Party zealots defend this hate monger by saying he was just practicing his First Amendment right, know that he also called Thomas Jefferson a pussy.
I applaud CBS and Warner Brothers Television for pulling the plug. I feel bad for the rest of the cast and the crew, all collateral damage – just like the furniture in hotel rooms Sheen has destroyed, and I’m sure he has as much regard for them as he does for the lamps he broke.
Throughout all of Sheen’s escapades Chuck Lorre has been nothing but supportive. He has always taken the high road, only expressing concern for Sheen’s well-being. He’s been a mensch, or as I’m sure Charlie would call him – a “dirty” mensch.
TWO AND A HALF MEN is a huge franchise, a cash cow for all concerned, and a rating juggernaut for CBS. Sheen has seriously jeopardized that franchise. Excuse me, but isn’t that grounds for a little lawsuit? How many millions do you think Sheen’s recent tirade will cost CBS and Warner Brothers? If I’m an attorney I’m going after him. Charlie would be wise to get himself one of them Jew scheister lawyers.
It has always been my contention that money and power just makes you more of what you already are. Charlie Sheen is a monster, a horrible human being. And now he's just another FACE IN THE CROWD, which is good because I can't stand looking at him.