Warner: Sheen fired from ‘Two and a Half Men’
Monday, March 7, 2011
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charlie Sheen was fired Monday from “Two and a Half Men” by Warner Bros. Television following the actor’s bouts of wild partying, repeated hospitalizations and a bitter media campaign against his studio bosses.
The action was taken after “careful consideration” and is effective immediately, the studio said in a statement. No decision has been made on the show’s future without its star, Warner spokesman Paul McGuire said.
Sheen, 45, who has used TV, radio and social media to create a big megaphone for himself, was not silent for long.
In a text to The Associated Press, he responded with the F-word and, “They lose,” followed by the word “Trolls.” Asked if he planned to sue, Sheen texted back, “Big.” As for his next move, Sheen texted, “A big one.”
A call to his attorney, Marty Singer, seeking comment was not immediately returned Monday. CBS declined to comment.
The firing capped a rare, raging public battle between a Hollywood star and those who employ him, with Sheen claiming the right to live as he pleased — including the acknowledged use of illegal drugs, although he’s said he is currently clean — as long as he showed up sober and ready to work.
“Two and a Half Men,” which debuted in 2003, starred Sheen as womanizing bachelor Charlie Harper, who creates an ad hoc family with his neurotic brother, the divorced Alan (Jon Cryer) and Alan’s son, Jake (Angus T. Jones).
Warner and CBS had long faced a balancing act with Sheen as he underwent rehab and two ugly splits from wives No. 2 (Denise Richards) and No. 3 (Brooke Mueller Sheen). On one side was the wayward star, on the other was TV’s most successful and highly lucrative sitcom, anchoring Monday for CBS and making hundreds of millions of dollars for Warner.
Last month, Warner canceled the remaining eight episodes of what was intended to be a 24-episode season of “Men,” citing Sheen’s public behavior and rants against executive producer Chuck Lorre.
In a series of interviews, including with ABC’s “Good Morning America” and NBC’s “Today” show, Sheen boasted about his “epic” partying, said he’s fueled by “violent hatred” of his bosses and claimed to have kicked drugs at home in his “Sober Valley Lodge.”
He glorified himself as a “rock star from Mars” with “fire breathing fists” and “Adonis DNA” and talked about his home life with two women he nicknamed his “goddesses.”
The actor, who was among TV’s highest-paid at a reported $1.8 million per episode for “Men,” brashly said at one point that he would ask for $3 million if he signed a new contract for future seasons.
There was public fascination with the gloves-off battle. When Sheen added Twitter to the arsenal, he gained 1 million followers in an unprecedentedly brief 25 hours, leading Guinness World Records to establish a new category and crown him the champion. He now has well over 2 million followers.
But Sheen’s professional conflict devolved into a custody battle over his 23-month-old twin sons with estranged wife Mueller Sheen. She used his public remarks, as well as conduct she claimed was threatening and violent, to seek a court order removing the children from his home last week.
While Sheen’s text to AP suggested his next major role could be that of plaintiff in a lawsuit, the immediate question for Warner and CBS was whether to keep the show alive by bringing in a new cast member to join Cryer and Jones — the one-and-a-half men left.
Shows have replaced stars before and lived to fight for ratings another day. When Valerie Harper left “Valerie” after the 1986-87 season in a dispute with producers, the show was renamed “The Hogan Family,” Sandy Duncan was brought in to play a new character and the sitcom continued until 1991.
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