Domestic violence, substance abuse, trashed hotel rooms, and porn stars/prostitutes. Charlie Sheen's bio could read like a rap sheet, and many are in jail for much less. The questions are: how does he get away with it, and is CBS his biggest enabler? No one argues that Sheen's behavior has gone from bad to worse. So how is that CBS, the network he has helped make number one, is not under fire for allowing all this to go on? I mean isn't time to pull his show?
At the Television Critics Association press tour, a tour usually reserved for softball questions, CBS Entertainment Chief Nina Tassler was asked a serious question, was CBS was worried about Sheen. "We have a high level of concern. How could we not. On a basic human level, there is concern that this man is a father, he has children, he has a family, " was her way of avoiding the obvious.
She added, "you can't look at it simplistically. Charlie is professional, he comes to work. He does his job extremely well. It's very complicated ... The show is a hit, and that's all I have to say." Okay, here's the real deal. CBS insiders tell me, the sad truth is, the worse he behaves, the higher the ratings. During Sheen's Colorado case of domestic violence against his estranged wife Brooke Mueller, his ratings actually went up. After the headlines faded, he was given a raise making him the highest paid actor on TV.
So, I see commit some crimes, avoid jail, and get a raise. I am sure many people would sign up for that gig. Part of the problem may revolve around Sheen's legal "luck" or just darn good legal advocacy. But, there are two sides to every case and while Sheen attorney Yale Gallanter may be doing a great job on his end, why are posecutors and judges cowtailing to an abuser whose crimes continue to stack up like a deck of cards?
When Sheen was arrested for the Christmas incident in Aspen, Colorado, he was facing second-degree assault and menacing charges, both felonies, and criminal mischief, a misdemeanor. Charlie's plea deal allowed the actor to serve his jail term at a Malibu, California, rehab center. No felony count. It was dropped in exchange for Sheen's guilty plea to a misdemeanor third-degree assault count, Pitkin County, Colorado, court spokesman Rob McCallum said.
How did this happen? More enabling. Prosecutors claim Brooke wanted the charges dropped. So the DA was faced with a choice. Press on with a reluctant star witness, or strike a plea deal. What would CBS, or Warner Brothers, the studio that produces of his show do if he was put in jail for a domestic violence felony? A felony would be harder to justify the raise, the job, and the perks. After all these crimes, as felonies are crimes of moral turpitude, the same ones that would make it so a janitor couldn't get a job cleaning, or a receptionist could be fired from answering the phone.
There are serious ramifications for a serious charge. But CBS and Warner Brothers don't have to ask. The fact is Charlie and his enablers got this figured out. He's a bad boy, but a smart bad boy. He's bad - porn stars, trashed hotel rooms - crimes no one seems to really worry about. In fact, TV viewers love it. This year alone, as his public scrapes have increased, so have his ratings - up another 2 percent.
So why should he stop? A comment posted by a Len Jonshon on People.com says it best:
"CBS has a show about a wealthy, drunken, unscrupulous womanizer, and they are concerned about the star's personal life as a wealthy, drunken, unscrupulous womanizer?"
Sheen is not the first (nor the last) of celebs acting badly. Another of Hollywood's most infamous trainwrecks is none other than Lindsay Lohan. She, too, has acted badly and even criminally, but even I would agree that compared to Sheen, it must feel like the judicial system is stacked against her. In reality, her crimes fit squarely within those of one who is ill, afflicted with chemical dependency. Yet, she never threatened anyone with a knife, struck her spouse;hasn't trashed a hotel room, and hasn't gone on public binges in Vegas, recently at least The difference is that Lindsay has two problems Charlie doesn't. She's no longer the hottest star. And she doesn't show up on time to work like Charlie does. Oh- and she seems to have a knack for getting arrested and not getting enablers around her like Sheen seems to have found.
Perhaps that's maturity. Sheen's 45. He's been at this game a lot longer. If Lindsay could just get it right, she could live the Hollywood dream. Or maybe Lindsay is the lucky one... as she is the one who actually has a chance to rehabilitate and actually live a healthy, crime free life.
By the way, sources tell me, the Riverside DA's office is most likely going to charge her for attacking a Betty Ford Rehab worker. If that happens, it will be an automatic probation violation with almost a guarantee of jail. We have already heard Judge Fox and he we all know he isn't messing around. So while poor Lindsay goes back to jail Sheen seems to continue to live in the lap of luxury with only punishment being a few legal bills.