Open Mic

Reality Check: Life Is Not Fair. Nowhere Is That More True Than in Hollywood, Where Values Depend Upon Your Value to Hollywood

Chuck Ross Posted October 28, 2010 at 7:01 AM

So let me get this straight.

Charlie Sheen, model citizen that he is, threatens his wife with a knife one Christmas Day. On probation for that nicety, most recently he allegedly picks up a porn star after boozing and doing coke. He brings her to his room at the Plaza Hotel in New York, while his ex-wife and two daughters are in another room across the hall. A naked Sheen then allegedly goes ballistic and starts tearing the room apart over either a watch he can’t find or his missing wallet. The porn star locks herself in the bathroom, cowering, and on her cell phone she tries to reach a girlfriend of hers who is also “working” in the hotel.

CBS and Warner Bros., for whom Sheen works, don’t really say anything about all this. In his hit sitcom, “Two and a Half Men,” Sheen “plays a jerk,” as L.A. Times staffer Scott Collins writes, also noting that the series made $155 million in ad revenues last season and so far no advertiser is pulling out of Sheen’s show.

And oh yes, “Two and a Half Men” has made a fortune in syndication.

Wait, I misspoke about Sheen’s employers. They have indeed made a statement. They gave Sheen a hefty raise.

Meanwhile, Juan Williams, one of the most thoughtful of news analysts, gets fired by NPR the other day for saying that since 9/11 he gets nervous when he’s at an airport and sees people in traditional Muslin attire waiting to get on the plane. In context, Williams, who is African American, also spoke about bigotry and that one should not regard all Muslims with suspicion.

I’m guessing that if Williams had said the remarks while naked, out of his head on booze and coke, with a naked porn star in the vicinity, and if, at the same time, Williams had an insanely popular TV show that he starred in—oh, let’s call it “All in the Family” where he played a loon racist—not only would Williams not have been fired, but he would have received a huge raise.

Ah, Hollywood …