In the “you know you saw this one coming” file, Warner Bros. studios, the company that produces the show “Two and a Half Men” for CBS Television, issued a short statement Monday terminating lead actor Charlie Sheen’s contract. But don’t think that this will be the end of the matter, considering that Sheen has already threatened a multi-million-dollar breach of contract lawsuit against his former employers, a group which includes Warner Bros. And even if it had been a final salvo (it was not) from his employers, Sheen has taken to various forms of media to wage his war (of words thus far) against those he once worked for…
The official Warner Bros. statement read: “After careful consideration, Warner Bros. Television has terminated Charlie Sheen’s services on ‘Two and a Half Men’ effective immediately.”
Charlie Sheen was quick to reply, telling the celebrity gossip website TMZ, which seems to have become his official go-to official statement outlet during the ongoing dispute, “This is very good news. They continue to be in breach, like so many whales. It is a big day of gladness at the Sober Valley Lodge because now I can take all of their bazillions, never have to look at whatshiscock again and I never have to put on those silly shirts for as long as this warlock exists in the terrestrial dimension.”
It was just such semi-nonsensical statements that Sheen has issued or phoned in to TMZ, plus the myriad others (not to mention the interviews with ABC, CBS, and CNN) on Twitter, and more recently UStream (a live streaming website), over the past couple weeks that got him fired. It all began with a phoned-in rant to Alex Jones radio show wherein he noted that those in charge of “Two and Half Men” were riding his coattails, living off of his genius. He insulted his employers and executive producer of the show Chuck Lorre, who he called a charlatan and a turd. After a follow-up call-in rant to TMZ, CBS and Warner Bros. suspended the show, which had four more episodes to film for the season.
After the firing, TMZ obtained the letter that Warner Bros. sent “Two and a Half Men” informing them of their decision. The studio cites “moral turpitude” as one reason for firing Sheen.
On Monday, Sheen also continued his assault. His lawyer, Marty Singer, believes that Chuck Lorre may have been involved in Sheen’s termination and does not believe the “moral turpitude” angle. Singer notes that Warner Bros. and CBS stood behind Sheen during last year’s domestic violence court case, then later renegotiated his contract. Singer believes Sheen was ultimately fired for insulting Lorre. A lawsuit is in the works, according to TMZ.
And if that wasn’t enough in the back-and-forth, Warner Bros. sent Singer an 11-page letter explaining exactly why they fired Sheen. TMZ posted the letter, which states that Singer’s client engaged in ” dangerously self-destructive conduct and appears to be very ill.” The letter also notes Sheen’s rehab stint, which stopped production on “Two and a Half Men.” Noting that the studio had extended themselves to help the actor, they pointed out that they were justified in firing Sheen due to the “moral turpitude” clause in his contract.
The letter read, in part: “There is ample evidence supporting Warner Bros. reasonable good faith opinion that Mr. Sheen has committed felony offenses involving moral turpitude (including but not limited to furnishing of cocaine to others as part of the self-destructive lifestyle he has described publicly) that have ‘interfere[d] with his ability to fully and completely render all material services required’ under the agreement.”
Everyone’s waiting on the next TMZ installment — or Ustream announcement — to find out what Charlie Sheen will do — or say — next. Given the rapid rate of events in his developing situation, chances are that the wait won’t be long…
Warner Bros., “Warner Bros. to Charlie Sheen: You’re Fired!,” TMZ.com
“Warner Bros. To Charlie: Here’s Why You’re Fired,” TMZ.com
“Charlie Sheen — I’m Suing Lorre and Warner Bros!,” TMZ.com
“Charlie Sheen on Firing — ‘This Is Good News’,” TMZ.com
“Charlie Sheen — Read the Letter That Fired Him,” TMZ.com