When first I conceived to write this article, it was going to be my thoughts on the shortening of this latest season of Two and a Half Men. In the time since I had the idea for that article, Charlie Sheen was officially fired from the show, and the future of the show is unknown — indeed, my first draft of this article had the title “Thoughts on the Cancellation of Two and a Half Men” until I remembered that the show had not been cancelled but one of its primary actors had been removed entirely from its production.

I cannot help but think of one word with which to describe Mr. Sheen’s behavior up until this termination, and in fact even since then and that word is smug. Going on all of the various talk shows and radio call in shows in which he bad mouthed the producers and the other important people involved in creating the show, one must think that he felt that he was completely immune from punishment — as though he felt that since the show could not possibly go on without him, there would be no problem with his behaving badly.

In an article I wrote last month — “Should Two and a Half Men move on Without Charlie Sheen?” — I wrote:

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?

Incidentally, this is now the third article I have written that specifically mentions Charlie Sheen. I hope that it will be the last one. I am almost amused that my expectation of termination has come to full fruition. Needless to say, since the termination has taken place there has been talk of lawsuits and venomous words exchanged about how contracts were not honored and how millions will have to be paid in order to honor what should have been paid out to Mr. Sheen in the course of his contract.

Fortunately for the producers of the show, they need not have any remorse over their decision to terminate Mr. Sheen’s contract as part of the contract involved a very specific clause stating that he could be fired for committing “a felony offense involving moral turpitude.” While this may seem somewhat vague, it is not at all.

Which of his many offenses would qualify — destroying a hotel? Frequenting multiple prostitutes and going on drug binges? Destroying the quality of the production of the show because of exhaustion from aforementioned binges?

In the end, let us look at this as a sobering reminder that nobody is above the Panopticonic gaze and that each of us must pay when we do wrong, one way or another — even if we are stars of a top rated show on television.


  1. I think it’s a pretty sad story all around, Gordon. I don’t think Charlie is really smug. He is clearly off-the-rack delusional and needs intensive medical care. If he didn’t have money and power and fame, he’s be forcibly hospitalized for his behavior — but because of who he is, or was, he suffers forever in public and encourages his own social mockery and human demise.

    1. Too true, David! I saw in today’s Metro newspaper that he is “crying out for help” from his friends now. I suppose, like the Amy Winehouse song, they tried to make him go to rehab but he said no, no, no!

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