Every day, I get on a subway headed for Brooklyn and spend forty-five minutes to an hour listening to music, reading a book, and even sometimes playing a game. I then spend eight to nine hours helping people understand the ins and outs of the software made by my employer. I understand very well that if I were to regularly show up late for my job, or not turn up for days at a time and spend my evening destroying myself, I could not expect anything other than a quick termination — why should my employer continue paying me if I am not doing the job I was hired to do in the best way that I can?

I previously wrote about Charlie Sheen in an article called “The Personal Lives of Celebrities Must Not Detract From their Artistry.” Specifically, I argued that it didn’t really matter what Charlie Sheen did when he left the set for the day as long as the television show he made while he was at work was of the quality that the producers could appreciate and the fans continued watching the show.

I still believe that this is the case to some extent, however it seems that up until now much money coming from his being employed on Two and a Half Men has gone straight into partying, prostitutes, and drugs. In a way, it is almost as though our watching the show funds his bad behavior — as if the fans of the show are hiring the prostitutes. Now, however, his behavior has gotten so out of hand that the show has had to take a three to four week hiatus — and let us be clear that during the hiatus, the crew does not get paid.

“We are really pissed,” vents one of the key crew members on set.

“A lot of us do not get paid, if we don’t work,” continues our rightfully frustrated source. “So, if he’s off getting rehabbed, or porn-o-ing, or whatever, we’re screwed.”

It’s true, CBS suits may be hurting a little bit during Sheen’s break, but, at the end of the day, they aren’t the ones getting by on a day-to-day work basis.

If it is already a matter of people’s jobs being negatively affected, the question has to be raised — should the show move on without its star? Moreover, is it possible for the show to move on without him? There is a brilliant slide show at the wrap showing five different television shows that managed to move on without their lead. Granted, most of them did not succeed for very long, and one of the successful ones (Charmed) was more than likely successful because the show only lost one out of three major characters, but it still does positively show the notion that it is possible to move on without a lead.

Some would argue that the whole premise of the show is that Jon Cryer is playing a character diametrically different than that of his brother — against whom would he play should Charlie Sheen leave the show?

It seems that the show makes far too much money for the network to get entirely cancelled — but can they manage to remove the insanity of Charlie Sheen and move on?

3 Comments

  1. Fine work, Gordon! I think this is more about money than morality. That’s the only explanation why Charlie isn’t outright fired. He gets, what, $1.2 million per episode and Jon Cryer gets $400,000.00 per show? That’s a ton of money right there — and the rest of the cast and crew are hoping Charlie returns so they can keep goosing their golden cow.

    1. Thanks, David! He gets more money for one episode than most Americans get in a full year or even a decade of hard back breaking work — and he squanders it on coke and whores? Meanwhile the crew probably subsides week to week.