Charlie Sheen has finally been fired from his sitcom.
Charlie Sheen fired from 'Men' by Warner Bros.
March 7, 2011
by VERNE GAY
Ending an eight-year relationship and perhaps one of TV's most lucrative sitcoms, Warner Bros. Television Monday fired Charlie Sheen for what it called "moral turpitude."
In a statement, the producer said, "After careful consideration, Warner Bros. Television has terminated Charlie Sheen's services on 'Two and a Half Men' effective immediately." Neither Warner Bros. nor CBS had further comment, except to say that a decision on the show's future has not been made.
The firing came after Sheen posted an obscenity-filled rant on the live video website UStream on Sunday. However, it appeared Warner's decision had been under consideration for some time.
Portions of a letter the producer sent to Sheen's attorney were posted on TMZ and later released to other media outlets. The letter said, "Your client has been engaged in dangerously self-destructive conduct and appears to be very ill. . . . There is ample evidence supporting Warner Bros. reasonable good faith opinion that Mr. Sheen has committed felony offenses involving moral turpitude (including but not limited to furnishing of cocaine to others as part of the self-destructive lifestyle he has described publicly) that have 'interfere[d] with his ability to fully and completely render all material services required' under the agreement."
The actor, who has used TV, radio and social media to create a big megaphone for himself, was not silent for long. In a text to The Associated Press, Sheen responded with an expletive and "They lose," followed by the word "Trolls."
Sheen is expected to sue for breach of contract. His lawyer, Marty Singer, told The Hollywood Reporter Monday that a lawsuit could be filed "this week [or] it could be in a little while. We're in no rush. But we will sue."
Sheen's contract reportedly does not have a "morals clause" - apparently the reason Warner Bros. cited "moral turpitude" relating to distribution of cocaine.
Bob Gumer, a veteran industry lawyer and adjunct professor of law at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., said Monday, "If they're going to go with 'moral turpitude' alleging a felony, it's clearly a stronger position than just saying he's sleeping with two women at the same time."
The firing also places a TV stalwart that has generated a quarter of a billion dollars in revenue in limbo. CBS and Warner Bros. could recast Sheen's role of Charlie Harper or - the more likely scenario - add a new character.
Production on "Two and a Half Men" was suspended Feb. 24 due to what the network and producer then called Sheen's "statements, conduct and condition."
When I first started watching the recent Charlie Sheen media blitz/meltdown, I wasn't fully convinced he was mentally ill. Some of his grandiosity seemed justified--he was, after all, the highest paid star on prime time TV, he was more than helping to keep his network competitive, and syndication rights for "Two And A Half Men" helped to line the pockets of a lot of people. He had some right to be arrogant and boastful. Was he just giving vent and saying what a lot of highly paid celebs would like to say if they had the nerve?
Now I am convinced that the man is unraveling, whether due to substance abuse, underlying psychopathology, an excess of media attention and an all too eager audience willing to watch a celeb gone wild, or a combination of all of those things. And Sheen clearly wants everyone to watch, and he's certainly commanding attention, he's dominating the media--I think he even catapulted into the Guinness Book of Records for amassing the most Twitter followers in the shortest period of time.
Here's one of his most recent video rants. He appears disheveled, manic, and grandiose. He's chain smoking, jumpy, and drinking something.
After his firing yesterday, there was a video of Sheen on the roof of a building waving a machete, saying, "Free at last". But, was this as crazy as it seemed, or was this carefully staged to feed into Sheen's newly found image?
Sometimes, it's best not to go looking too hard for the reasons behind Charlie Sheen's bizarre behavior. And other times, you can't help but do anything else. Especially when he decided to celebrate his firing yesterday by jumping on a roof and waving a machete around.
Trust us when we say this hurts us more than it will you, but it turns out, Sheen's sword-wielding escapade isn't as crazy as we first thought. Here's the deal...
First of all—and brace yourselves for the disappointment here—that wasn't Sheen's machete.
Instead, E! News exclusively learned, the prop is the prized possession of a Live Nation executive (on whose building Sheen engaged in the knife-robatics).
During a smoke break amid his merchandising meeting, Charlie started out doing nothing more harmless and uncrazy than give a simple wave to paparazzi. But sensing a Kodak moment in the works, the Live Nation exec ran into his office to retrieve the machete and then informed Sheen to give his best Che Guevara and wave it around for the cameras. The "Free at last!" freestyle, however, was all Charlie's idea.
"Charlie grabbed it and was like, 'Cool. Viva la revolución!'" a source said.
The action, needless to say, was a hit—not only with the paparazzi, but with Sheen himself, who immediately began telling people he wanted to get a similar sword for his "warlock arsenal." Of course he does.
Some people seem to be applauding and admiring Sheen for breaking all the rules, for doing, and saying, and living, just what he wants to say and do, without apparent constraints. Celebs are, after all, entitled to private lives--even when these lives become very public. And, he's certainly got the media groveling, enabling, and broadcasting every utterance. He's a master publicist.
What do you think of the latest Charlie Sheen spectacle (or is it a spectacular?).
Should the network have fired him?
What are we witnessing? Is this just another celeb train wreck, or are we watching a master of his craft? Although he appears to be losing (custody of his children, his TV show, etc.), is he really win-ning on some other level?