Clean Up Charlie

Charlie Sheen has long been known as an excessive partier and playboy. He has a history of self-destructive behavior with drugs and women, which makes his most recent foray into the tabloids none too surprising.

Sheen was rushed to the hospital earlier this week complaining of severe abdominal pain after a long night of partying. Eyewitness accounts at the hospital say he was accompanied by an entourage of porn stars, one of which carried a suitcase full of cocaine.

After this latest incident, Sheen has checked himself into a rehab clinic – for the second time in a year – and his TV show, CBS’ Two and a Half Men, has gone on production hiatus. Executives at CBS and members of the “Men” crew are probably scrambling to figure out what to do now, but frankly they are partially to blame for Sheen’s moral free fall.

Sheen has been the star of Two and a Half Men since 2003, and since then has become the highest-paid actor currently on television. He makes $1.8 million an episode to act like a jackass whose life consists only of partying and treating those around him like crap.

This role has given him not only money, but nominations for Emmy and Golden Globe Awards as well as carte blanche to apparently do anything he wants off set as long as he shows up for work. He has never been punished, even with a slap on the wrist, for his antics. His costar, Jon Cryer, even recently joked with Conan O’Brien that he checks TMZ to see if he should show up for work.

CBS and the crew at Two and a Half Men have enabled Sheen’s behavior for years, saying nothing as two of his marriages eroded with both wives claiming he threatened them with physical harm. He has been involved in several PR nightmares, but again nothing was ever done.

At this point, people’s basic reaction is “that’s just Charlie being Charlie.” Nobody seems to care that he allegedly pulled a knife on his current (but separated) wife or that he has overdosed while trying to directly inject cocaine. What message does this send? As long as you screw up over and over again, we’ll stop caring?

I understand that the goal of CBS and Warner Bros. Television – the company that producers Two and a Half Men – is to make money. That is obviously the main purpose of every major studio and production company. But that does not mean you let your actors run amok.

Sheen is essentially like a child whose parents have stopped caring enough to watch over him. Having basically been taught that he can do whatever he wants with no repercussions, his out-of-control lifestyle has only gotten worse. And now the production of his show has been halted, effectively putting hundreds of people out of work for an indefinite amount of time.

Hopefully this will serve as a lesson to future executives and production companies. You cannot simply sit back and wait until one of your actor’s self-destructive tendencies get so bad he may legitimately be putting himself in danger of death. You have to be proactive and try to corral these kinds of problems before they spin out of control. Unfortunately, for Charlie Sheen things are likely already too late.


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Filed under Life Lessons, Television

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