Warner Bros. Television and CBS produce the highest grossing sitcom on TV in America. Two and a Half Men is also a huge hit in the UK and Australia. It has been nominated for 2 Golden Globes and has won a further 20 awards with over 50 nominations.

So you would think then, that this comedy which is described as “A hedonistic jingle writer’s free-wheeling life comes to an abrupt halt when his brother and 10-year-old nephew move into his beach-front house” by The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) would be in full production mode with a successful and fulfilled cast and crew.

However, Warner Bros. Television and CBS announced late last week that their top-rated sitcom Two and a Half Men is currently taking production break.

On screen, Sheen’s character runs away from any form of committed relationship, he treats women as disposable objects and openly mocks his brother for wanting a stable relationship and environment in which to bring up his son, Jake.

Ironically, it seems that the very life style that Charlie Sheen’s character promotes is a lifestyle that is in reality destroying the real-life of lead actor, Charlie Sheen. Despite the fact that Sheen has struggled for many years with alleged drug and porn addictions, producers have continued to tolerate his off-screen behaviour because the program is so successful.

His former wife, Denise Richards, has tried to stop Charlie from seeing their children for fear of his extreme behaviour. In a petition to the court she wrote that he indulges in “inappropriate behaviour… and conduct,” including “his attraction to underage women and his sexual explicitness on the Internet, including revealing his private parts.”

More recently porn star Kacey Jordan said on Good Morning America that she was asked by Charlie Sheen to babysit his kids. Clearly not a good choice to look after his 2 impressionable young girls, Sam and Lola.

Kacey Jordan’s shocking admission came after she had spent an epic, drug-fuelled marathon with Charlie. On Good Morning America, she claimed Charlie said “I need a girl I can rely on to babysit”.

Charlie Sheen’s track record runs like this:
Sheen admits to being a client of the notorious Hollywood Madam, Heidi Fleiss.
1997: Sheen pleads no contest to battery charges brought by former girlfriend. He got a year’s suspended sentence and 2 years’ probation.
1998: Sheen enters rehab after a drug overdose and violating his parole.
2005: Denise Richards files for divorce, publicly accusing Sheen of “inappropriate behaviour,” including dalliances with prostitutes, gambling problems and drug and alcohol problems, that could negatively impact his daughters’ upbringing.
2009: Sheen is arrested and spends Christmas in jail after allegedly threatening his wife Brooke Mueller.
2010 Feb: Sheen enters rehab, a move his rep referred to as simply a “preventative measure.”
2010 Aug: Sheen pleads guilty to Christmas attack on Mueller. He was ordered to spend 30 days in rehab, undergo domestic abuse counselling and was placed on probation.
2010 Oct: Sheen is taken to the hospital after police are called for a disturbance in his room at New York’s Plaza Hotel. He was with porn star Capri Anderson at the time.
2011 Jan: Sheen admitted to rehab.

But does Two and a Half Men ever show the fallout from such a life style?

The answer is ‘no’ and because of this, in the world of TV he continues to be a hero figure. How many young men have been influenced to emulate Sheen’s on or off-screen character because of Warner Brothers’ promotion of Sheen’s programme, leveraging his self-destructive lifestyle and values?

When will Charlie Sheen stop being a half-man in his own life? Will Warner Brothers ever realise the impact that such “entertainment” has on boys seeking out role models upon which to base their own manhood? It’s time to re-evaluate what we regard as “successful” television.

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald. Eonline. Extra.