Coursing with tiger-blood, soundtracked by the screams of fighter jets, Charlie Sheen’s carpet-bombing of the global media village shows no signs of abatement, with the sheer multitude of targets making it all but impossible to wring linear sense from the chaos of war. So we’re reduced to filing updates in bulletin form, knowing full well that as soon as you read this, another dozen volleys will have been launched. Our chronicle continues...
Talking to CNN’s Piers Morgan, Sheen softened somewhat on his demands for a $3 million-per-episode raise to return to Two And A Half Men, saying, “That was stupid.” He’s now couched his battle with CBS as a war for the people, sort-of praising the network for its recent announcement that it would compensate the show’s crew for four of the eight scheduled episodes they’ll miss—a decision for which he takes credit, something CBS flatly denies—but avows that he “won’t sleep until he gets all eight,” even though we already know that Sheen is always winning, even during naps. Sheen said that after the crew was properly compensated, he would then move on to the rest of the cast and then himself, telling the Associated Press, “I don’t care about me right now.”
As for his fractured relationship with CBS president Les Moonves (about whom Sheen declared yesterday, “I’m done”), Sheen said he would apologize to him, but that he would also ask him, “Why did you lie to me about the crew in front of ... my management team?”—a complaint that stems from Moonves’ alleged promises that he shouldn’t worry about the crew during his forced time off. For his part, Moonves recently addressed Sheen’s media blitz, saying he “wish[ed] he would have worked this hard to promote himself for an Emmy,” and added only that he hoped the show would return, but as of right now isn’t sure it will. In the meantime, Moonves believes the decision to halt production is, in the short-term at least, “actually a gainer for us,” as the savings on producing more episodes is combined with the fact that Two And A Half Men continues to do well in repeats. This is borne out by the fact that last night’s rerun was the most-watched show on television, with even non-regular viewers tuning in to compile footage for their YouTube overdubs, probably.
As to whether Sheen will fulfill Moonves’ hopes, put all this aside, and find a way to deal with his seething hatred for Chuck Lorre, Sheen offered a few comments on that during the 20/20 episode that still hasn’t aired but which everyone feels like they’ve seen already, saying, “I don't know if Chuck and I can ever work together again. But maybe guys just sit in a room and just go, 'Look, we hate each other. Let's continue to make some great television.' Maybe that's possible. I don't know. I'm not gonna get violent on the guy. I'm not stupid. I go to jail, I lose all my power.” Lorre also weighed in, kinda, using one of his signature “vanity cards” at the end of last night’s episode of Mike & Molly, which was subsequently posted to his website. Here it is in full:
I understand that I'm under a lot of pressure to respond to certain statements made about me recently. The following are my uncensored thoughts. I hope this will put an end to any further speculation. I believe that consciousness creates the illusion of individuation, the false feeling of being separate. In other words, I am aware, ergo I am alone. I further believe that this existential misunderstanding is the prime motivating force for the neurotic compulsion to blot out consciousness. This explains the paradox of our culture, which celebrates the ego while simultaneously promoting its evisceration with drugs and alcohol. It also clarifies our deep-seated fear of monolithic, one-minded systems like communism, religious fundamentalism, zombies and invaders from Mars. Each one is a dark echo of an oceanic state of unifying transcendence from which consciousness must, by nature, flee. The Fall from Grace is, in fact, a Sprint from Grace. Or perhaps more accurately, 'Screw Grace, I am so outta here!' Questions?"
Yes, one: Do you fear the samurais?
Should Sheen decide not to return, several websites have begun proposing replacements—most notably John Stamos, who has already responded, “Contrary to the rumors, i am not replacing charlie sheen on two and half men. However, martin sheen has asked me to be his son.” You just got Stamosed. Nevertheless, Sheen addressed those rumors on Access Hollywood, saying, “I like John, but he doesn’t have what I have, and the show sucks if he’s on it."
This morning, Sheen appeared on Howard Stern’s show and said that he thinks co-star Jon Cryer is “starting to see that the war is turning” and is “behind me 100 percent,” and then decided that the “real solution” would be if CBS would just fire Chuck Lorre “and put me back on and everybody wins.” Asked if that means he definitely plans to return to Men, Sheen sounded a bit more confident, saying he “absolutely” will, repeating his mantra, “Defeat is not an option,” and then adding a new one: “Panicking is for amateurs and morons.” This made a nice companion to "Hope is for suckers and tools," which he also unveiled. We are quickly running out of things to put Sheen quotes on, and will soon be reduced to crafting needlepoint samplers.
Naturally, because this was Stern's show, the conversation soon turned to Sheen’s life with “The Goddesses”—Sheen’s live-in duo of girlfriends that includes graphic designer Natalie Kenly and porn star Bree Olson—about which Stern declared, “You live like a king!” Sheen replied, “And why shouldn’t I?” and added that he loves “the reality of variety." Those sentiments were echoed in yet more segments from tonight’s 20/20 interview that were aired on today’s Good Morning America, during which Sheen called Hugh Hefner “an amateur,” referred to himself as “the wedge” in his ongoing “polygamy story”—or, alternately, an “ongoing union of the hearts”—and said, “Every day is just filled with just wins. All we do is put wins in the record books." He then added, "We win so radically in our underwear before our first cup of coffee, it's scary.”
Of course, in between the winning, Sheen has also been accused of acting violently towards the women in his life—something Piers Morgan asked him about, to which Sheen countered, “No, women are not to be hit. They're to be hugged and caressed, you know?” Today attorney Gloria Allred issued a statement calling that dismissal “revolting and despicable,” taking particular issue with Sheen's claim that his charge of battery against former girlfriend (and Allred’s client) Brittany Ashland was a case where, as he told Morgan, “I was trying to contain her. I had her arms and we both went to the ground.” Allred said that Sheen is “trying to blame her for his crime,” and added, “While Charlie Sheen appears to be trying to persuade the public that he is a victim, he ignores the true facts that he is the one who has victimized others.”
On that note, this conversation led to confirmation of what many have long suspected: This whole Charlie Sheen business is probably pretty awesome for Mel Gibson, with Sheen telling Morgan that Gibson had recently phoned him up—not to say thanks, but just to chat. "He was just, you know, 'Not calling for any advice, just like thought you might like to hear a friendly voice,'" Sheen said. "He was a stone cold dude. I was really impressed." He later elaborated on this friendly clash of titans on Stern's show, saying, "Mel's a rock star... I'm a huge fan, and think he's a beautiful man."
Predictably, that set Stern up for a joke about how Gibson must have thought it was hilarious when Sheen called Lorre "Chaim Levine"—not that Sheen was laughing. That's because (speaking of Charlie Sheen being a victim) he’s also demanding an apology from the Anti-Defamation League for suggesting that his "Chaim Levine" remarks could be considered an anti-Semitic slur, with Sheen’s equally prolific lawyer Marty Singer composing yet another letter calling for a retraction, because Sheen’s only intention was to “address the man rather than his television persona." However, Sheen is apparently not satisfied with just an apology, and is also calling on the ADL to “denounce Lorre for acknowledging his ‘disdain for the Jewish religion.’”
And as if there weren’t enough going on, TMZ reports that Sheen is also named in a bizarre new lawsuit that claims Charlie and his parents, Martin and Janet Sheen, all conspired to “interfere and restrain” Chuck Lorre from a plan that would have found Sheen’s uncle, Joe Estevez, either replacing him on Two And A Half Men or starring in a spin-off called Uncle Joe. The suit also says that the Sheen family worked together to kill a reality show called About The Sheens; it’s being filed by a former business partner of Joe Estevez, and it demands some $20 million in damages. On any other week, this would probably be interesting. Anyway, as long as we’re on the subject of Sheen’s family, Howard Stern asked him if Martin and brother Emilio Estevez had attempted to commit him to an institution, about which Sheen joked, “They could try, but then it involves gunplay.”
I think that’s probably it for the moment. By way of benediction, Sheen offered Today his thoughts on people who criticize him on the Internet: “It's sad for them. It's like, 'Get a job, anyone?'" But this is our job, Charlie Sheen. Right now, this is our job.