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Why Didn’t Charlie Sheen Get Fired For Abusing Women?

Why Didn’t Charlie Sheen Get Fired For Abusing Women?

From all reports, it sounds like Charlie Sheen, the star of the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, is no charmer.  Production of the show was suspended last week when Sheen began an offensive, anti-Semitic rant against the executive producer, Chuck Lorre.  Sheen called Lorre a “clown” and “loser” and added, “It’s nothing this side of deplorable that a certain Chaim Levine, yeah that’s Chuck’s [Lorre] last name, mistook this rock star for his own selfish exit strategy bro.”

Sheen has denied that the comments were anti-Semitic, and says that he has kicked his substance abuse problems and will continue to work despite the show’s suspension, but the real question is why he was disciplined for this particular rant, given his history of domestic abuse and violence against women.

In an article for the New York Times, David Carr highlights the extent of Sheen’s propensity for intimate physical violence.  It’s bizarre and disturbing, he says, that Time Warner and CBS would tolerate such explicit misogyny from a highly paid employee.  In 2006, Sheen’s current wife, Denise Richards, filed a restaining order against him, saying that Sheen had thrown chairs at her, pushed her, and threatened to kill her.  They divorced, but in 2009, he made similar threats against his new wife, Brooke Mueller, while holding a knife to her throat.  Last fall, Sheen went on a violent rampage at the Plaza Hotel, allegedly yelled racial slurs at an escort he had hired for the evening, threw a lamp at her and grabbed her by the throat.  Terrified, the woman locked herself in the bathroom.  Sheen later offered her an unspecified amount of money in exchange for her silence.

And yet – what gets Sheen’s show suspended?  Carr points to this as an example of the tacit approval of domestic violence in show business, writing, “Hollywood likes to pretend it has grown up and taken its seat in corporate America. But it hasn’t when it comes to violence toward women. Mr. Sheen may have gone off-script last week. But in his attitudes toward women both on and off screen, he’s right on message.”

This is a strong indictment of Hollywood as tolerating and even encouraging a misogynistic culture.  But it’s hard not to read the latest controversy over Charlie Sheen any other way.  It must, as Carr points out, be offensive to the many women who work for Time Warner and CBS to support an actor who so blatantly shows his disrespect for women.  But until Sheen crossed a line and insulted his boss, it seemed like he was able to act with impunity.

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Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

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117 comments

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12:37PM PDT on Apr 23, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

10:39AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

Some celebrities are allowed too much...

10:37AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

Sorry for the bad word, but he is an ass

2:45AM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

thank you for article..

5:48AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

y'all never thunk that his "predilections" might'v been WHY his two wives first married him,only becoming upset after they'd finally "resolved their OWN (submissive/masochistic etc) issues"? or that he probably hired "hotel escort" for precisely those ACTS? they DO tend to "specialize" in providing "fetish" services after all, iz what they HIRE OUT for, and he PAID extra, sure the boy haz "problems", but in a society that treats people in general az pieces of livestock, he's no better or worse than any other fkup, in fact, he probably IZ better than most, at least he sees through the gobshite.

5:55PM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

Because until he crossed the producer it didn't effect his job performance. Charlie Sheen is a man who needs some real help.

11:52AM PDT on May 20, 2011

What would be most frightening of all is that Charlie Sheen would run for political office and win, just like Arnold Schwarzenegger for being governor of CA. Then nothing then could undo the damage he did to the public because of his messed up "private" life.


7:02AM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

I think he's a very damaged man, and needs help. This, however, does not excuse his behaviour.

9:00PM PDT on Mar 17, 2011

The premise of the show sells.....money talks so let's not bother to bring about charges of domestic violence against
Sheen. What a waste....all that is is left are the drugs. The man has disappeared.

11:07PM PST on Mar 9, 2011

This has nothing to do with the article, I guess, but I need to point out that the other stars of the show haven't really spoken up about their views of the whole "charlie Sheen issue." That being said, it seems to me that the media is making more out of this than they need to. Don't you think if Sheen was as much of a pain in the ass as he appears to be, that his co-stars would have spoken out about it a long time ago? It makes me wonder how much of the "abuse" news is real, and how much is hype.

Obviously abusing women is intolerable, and if Charlie Sheen did commit these abusive acts as reported by the media, he should be punished. But that being the case, why isn't he in jail for abuse...he either is innocent of abusing these women...or his "people" paid off anyone involved judicially in his case.

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