It should come as no surprise to learn that outspoken actor Charlie Sheen has something to say about getting fired from “Two and a Half Men."
In a statement issued to NBC’s Jeff Rossen, which aired Tuesday morning on TODAY, Sheen seemed to be happy about his recent termination, claiming, “I didn’t like that show anyway or those dumb bowling shirts they made me wear. Now I’m free.”
That response might sound reasonable, if a bit glib concerning a job said to pay $2 million per episode, but it hardly represents Sheen’s larger post-termination reaction. In fact, in the hours following the news that Warner Bros. would no longer employ him, the film and television star kicked off a series of increasingly strange, attention-grabbing displays.
In yet another of Sheen’s now infamous web streams, the actor appeared disheveled and at times barely comprehensible as he ranted about being in the midst of “an odyssey of epic, epic proportions.” Early Monday evening, Sheen was spotted in Hollywood brandishing a machete while one of his “goddesses” looked on.” Later in the day, Sheen spoke to Access Hollywood and referred to his former bosses as “yellow cockroaches.”
Public rants and raves aside, Sheen’s biggest reaction to losing his job is bound to be the lawsuit he’s vowed to launch against the-powers-that-be behind “Men.” As for that suit, experts are divided about the embattled actor’s odds.
“If he was doing his job (prior to the hiatus), the studio can’t say, ‘We didn’t think you were ready to do your job because you didn’t submit (to) us a doctor’s note,’” employment lawyer Linda Kenny-Baden told TODAY host Meredith Vieira. “(Sheen) said, ‘I’m ready to go,’ and if I’m his lawyer, I love this.”
But author Steve Adubato disagrees with that angle, instead believing executives should have taken action earlier.
“Look, I have problems with how Warner Bros. and CBS handled this because I felt they should have stepped in sooner,” Adubato explained. “In my mind, what it came down to was the attacks against CBS and Warner Bros. and ultimately, what they decided was (Sheen) looks horrible. He’s presenting himself in a terrible way. That may work in a wacky webcast, or it may work because we have this interest in the way he’s acting right now. But that doesn’t work in a family sitcom, even though he played a character that was a little left of center with his conduct.”
The experts agreed one point. Regardless of which party is in the right, any case between Sheen and former employers is bound to be settled before going to trial.
Ree Hines is a frequent contributor to TODAY.com.