CBS cancels filming on Two and Half Men for the season after insulting remarks by Charlie Sheen
CBS and Warner Bros. TV announced this evening that it is suspending production on the hit comedy Two and Half Men for the remainder of the TV season, hours after star Charlie Sheen insulted the show's executive producer in a rambling radio interview and in statements to the gossip site TMZ.com.
The official statement was terse and direct: "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."
Earlier in the day, Sheen had appeared on The Alex Jones Show, insisting that he had beaten his addictions and using a slur to refer to his show's creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre, who he also called a "turd." Later, he made a statement to TMZ challenging Lorre to a fight and calling him a "piece of s---" who took money from his pockets.
Pressure had been mounting on CBS to reconsider resuming production on the show, scheduled to restart Monday after a monthlong break taken to allow Sheen time for addiction treatment. But the star began making increasingly odd public appearances and interviews -- from telling the UCLA baseball team to avoid crack in a speech to slagging Lorre in an interview with sports talk host Dan Patrick.
But Sheen's public statements Thursday appeared to be the final nail, as the star criticized Alcoholics Anonymous by saying ""I was shackled and oppressed by the cult of AA for 22 years. I finally extracted myself from their troll hole and started living my life the way I want to live it."
Jones, playing the obsequious host, insisted Sheen never looked better and told him he sounded like Thomas Jefferson. The star's response: "I'm not Thomas Jefferson. He was a p***y! But I dare anyone to debate me on things."
TV host and addiction expert Dr, Drew Pinsky told Entertainment Weekly earlier today that Sheen was likely in denial and needed one to three months of rehab in an immersive environment with a group of people. "For the male addict, the workplace is the last place that’s affected," Pinsky added. "In his case, he’s managed to not have it affect his work. Thank god he’s not an airline pilot — in that case we would have seen it impact his work. When it does impact his work [on Men], then you know he’s on his last legs."
Benching the show is a blow for CBS and Warner Bros.; the series was the highest-rated comedy on television, leaving Sheen the highest-paid actor in the industry, reportedly making nearly $2-million per episode.
After the production halt was called, Sheen sent a letter to TMZ reading, in part, "What does this say about Haim Levine [Chuck Lorre] after he tried to use his words to judge and attempt to degrade me. I gracefully ignored this folly for 177 shows ... I fire back once and this contaminated little maggot can't handle my power and can't handle the truth. I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels especially if they wind up in my octagon. Clearly I have defeated this earthworm with my words -- imagine what I would have done with my fire breathing fists. I urge all my beautiful and loyal fans who embraced this show for almost a decade to walk with me side-by-side as we march up the steps of justice to right this unconscionable wrong.
Remember these are my people ... not yours...we will continue on together...
So Sheen seems hardly amenable to reconsidering his actions and seeking treatment.
At least, with the halt to work on new episodes Two and Half Men, fans watching the show don't have to wonder if they're enabling his illness, simply by watching him on television.