In the wake of CBS deciding to suspend production on the hit television show Two and a Half Men because of the erratic behavior of its star, Charlie Sheen, there are a lot of people taking shots at the troubled actor.
This isn't helped by the fact that Sheen seems to show absolutely no remorse for his behavior, and even went on a radio show to blast CBS and the producer of his show for using him to make money and then disposing of him.
I certainly don't defend Sheen's behavior, but I think it's important to point out that the network and the producers are, in fact, to blame here as well--the same way enablers contribute to addiction, these people contributed to the monster that has become Charlie Sheen.
It's understandable to keep a show going after the first or second incident of violence, drug abuse, felonies, and/or overall poor behavior, but CBS has backed Sheen for far too long, and I have a feeling he isn't far off when he says it's about how much money the network was making on him.
Rather than replace him with another actor, CBS did polls to see if people cared that Sheen was destroying his life and making the lives of the people he works with a living nightmare. The response? Nobody cared.
That's right. The audience for Two and a Half Men were perfectly content with watching a violent criminal make jokes every week so they could get a half hour of what most would consider poorly written and badly acted television. It doesn't surprise me. The show is the televised equivalent of fast food. The people who watch it don't want to think about Sheen's indiscretions. They just want to hear a few lousy punchlines and then go to bed.
Well, shame on them too. Don't those people have children? Don't they realize that we've created a celebrity culture without repercussions? What does that say to the next generation? Become famous, or rich, or powerful and you can do whatever you want?
How many of us would have made it to the fifth or sixth transgression before we'd lose our job? CBS has played the "kind and compassionate" boss for years now, but the fact of the matter is, Sheen's cons finally outweighed his pros, and at this point, they're probably thinking they can swap him out for another actor.
It might seem like arrogance that Sheen has said the show won't survive without him, but what other message would you get from the fact that not only have they not fired him, but they've actually given him raises.
I won't say I feel bad for Sheen, because I don't. It's hard to feel bad for someone who is worth more money even without a job than I'll ever be worth in my entire life, but I refuse to keep one finger pointed squarely at him.
Nowhere but in the entertainment industry would this sort of behavior be tolerated. Maybe we should be less focused on Charlie Sheen, and worry more about the fact that we all knew what was going on, and some of us chose to sit back on our couches and enjoy the show.