You may recall when CBS fired Charlie Sheen early last year from the popular Two and a Half Men series for a string of "felony offenses involving moral turpitude." In the weeks and months that preceded this decision, an increasingly erratic Sheen received an inordinate amount of media attention for his drug-induced rants. To this day however, Sheen's bad boy persona is received warmly by the media, and he's been rewarded for it with ad spots for Fiat and DirecTV and even another show on the FX network that jokingly plays off his history of reckless hedonism.
By contrast, Sheen's former co-star, Angus T. Jones, the titular "half man" on the sitcom, has been castigated by the media for his recent religious conversion and subsequent YouTube testimonial in which he urged folks to avoid his popular TV series. Perhaps pressured by producers, Jones has since apologized for coming across as indifferent and unappreciative for the lucrative opportunity, but that hasn't stopped the media for characterizing Jones's video as another celebrity meltdown. [ video below the page break ]
ABC's Nightline devoted more than six minutes of their half-hour show on Tuesday to investigate the root cause and rationale behind Jones's original remarks, essentially concluding that he must've been brainwashed by a cult.
Introducing the segment, Bill Weir advised mothers everywhere to be wary of Hollywood -- noting that the following story was a "different kind of moral rebellion."
If the history of Hollywood has taught us anything, it is mamas, don't let your babies become child actors. Man, we have seen all flavors of amoral self-destruction over the years as young talent cracks under all that attention. But tonight, we have a different kind of moral rebellion on the set of Two and a Half Men, after Angus T. Jones declared his show is 'unwatchable filth'.
Reporter David Wright was handed the reins from there, and it wasn't long before he spotlighted the reaction Sheen relayed to People Magazine. As if Jones's video were somehow similar to what he did over a year ago, Sheen referred to the matter as a "Hale-Bopp-like meltdown" and postulated the show must be cursed.
Wright turned to a Dr. Damon Raskin near the end of the segment, where he surmised that Jones's behavior is self-destructive and an obvious cry for help. Members of his church were allowed to defend Jones and his sanity, but the damage had already been done by lumping the teenage actor with Sheen.
Good Morning America and Access Hollywood Live, among other programs followed up with their own prejudiced analysis on Wednesday morning. Cecila Vega went so far as to characterize the testimonial as a "religious rant" on Good Morning America.
You may also recall that for her part, ABC's The View co-host Joy Behar echoed Karl Marx's "religion is the opiate of the masses" judgement when she contended on the Nov. 26 edition of her Current TV talk show Say Anything that Jones must be addicted to his new religion.
As a Christian, Jones must be aware that he will suffer the ridicule of unbelievers for his faith. But it's truly a bizarre world we live in when Charlie Sheen is touted as normal while Angus Jones's faith is viewed as strange, even dangerous by the entertainment and news media establishment.