Charlie Sheen had some very nasty things to say about his showrunner, Chuck Lorre, which hours ago, prompted CBS to cancel the remaining season of “Two and a Half Men.”
The news has sent shockwaves throughout the industry—not only because Sheen made recent headlines about a return stint in rehab, but also because the show is one of the most successful on television.
If he’s sobered up from drugs—and that’s a big ‘if’—he hasn’t sobered his ego.
During a TMZ interview earlier today, Deadline.com reported that Sheen had the following things to say about the “Two and Half Men” creator Lorre, whom he was careful to lambast, not by his showbiz name, but by his, uh, real name: Chaim Levine.
“I violently hate Haim Levine,” Sheen said during the interview. “He’s a stupid, stupid little man and a p**sy punk that I’d never want to be like. That’s me being polite. That piece of s**t took money out of my pocket, my family’s pocket, and, most importantly, my second family—my crew’s pocket… You can tell him one thing. I own him.”
Sheen’s ego seems a bit out-sized for someone who can’t make it through the day without copious drugs. Otherwise why would he rush to play the anti-Semite card? In Hollywood, playing the anti-Semitie card is like pushing the eject button in the James Bond car. It’s a sure sign of Hollywood crazy when you’re going after Jews, because it’s such a Jewish environment; it’s biting the hand that feeds you. For Sheen, who is clearly off his rocker, spouting indignant, almost diabolical diatribes just to be heard, going after his showrunner is burning the last bridge. It’s pushing the red button that detonates the entire ship.
Raging verbal battles are also a way for the uber-fortunate to express what is most primal in them. As much as Hollywood can be a dog-eat-dog type of place, it isn’t Afghanistan and it’s not about survival. So expressing those fiery, angry urges in the form of hate speech is partly a survival impulse. And it wouldn’t be hard to argue that Sheen is hanging on by a very thin thread.
On the other hand, when you’re an addict and say vile things ‘under the influence’, that can be indicative of hate feelings harbored deep within.
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While Sheen has since kept quiet about his outburst, the studios responsible for airing the show released a joint statement effectively ending the show, according to TheWrap.com: “Based on the totality of Charlie Sheen’s statements, conduct and condition, CBS and Warner Bros. Television have decided to discontinue production of ‘Two and a Half Men’ for the remainder of the season.”
This is a big deal, considering its popularity. The New York Times, which called the show, “the biggest hit comedy of the last decade” speculated that it “may never return.”
For his part, Lorre, creator of “The Big Bang Theory” and “Mike and Molly,” whom The Times refers to as “one of the most successful producers of television series in network history” has declined to comment on the matter. A smart move, considering that petty back-and-forth is an unsavory domain that usually gets people fired.
For CBS, the show would be an egregious loss, but a necessary one. “We had to do it,” a senior executive told the NY Times. Apparently, several attempts had been made by the studio to persuade Sheen to shape up. But instead of earnestly engaging in rehab, Sheen imperiously said he had cured himself “in a nanosecond.”
According to The Times, Sheen makes $1.2 million per episode. Which means, to support that expensive drug habit, he’ll have to start looking for work.
More on the story:
Who is Chuck Lorre and just how Jewish is he? Click here for Adam Wills’ blog, “The Real Chuck Lorre Is in the Cards” and interview.