Chuck Ross

Why Charlie Sheen Will Basically Get a Pass While Tiger Gets Crucified

Dec 29, 2009

Actor Charlie Sheen’s latest run-in with the law sounds very serious. According to initial reports, he allegedly brandished a knife and threatened to kill his wife when she said she might divorce him. He denies it.

Can you imagine the uproar, even now, if Tiger Woods was accused of doing something like that if his wife said she might divorce him?

It may surprise some to realize that Sheen’s alleged behavior won’t even come close to the negative fall-out Woods has already received in the past month. "How can that be?" they’ll exclaim.

It’s got to do with expectations. Sheen is a notorious bad-boy who’s been in lots of trouble before. That means in the eyes of the media–and yes, much of the public–he’s much more comparable to Bobby Brown than Chris Brown. That’s also why if Bobby Brown got in more trouble tomorrow the public would basically shrug, and why we were so shocked when Chris Brown–who, like Woods, had a clean image–hit Rhianna.

Furthermore, I’d be surprised if Hanes drops Sheen as an endorser. It was only about 18 months ago that they hired him to wear their underwear, and his reputation as a bad boy was already well established. In other words, if anyone at Hanes is surprised by this latest trouble that Sheen’s gotten into, THEY should be fired.

Nor do I think CBS will sanction Sheen, who TVGuide says is the highest paid actor on TV making about $20 million a year. No, these charges against Sheen are not funny, but he does play a cad in his hit sitcom "Two and a Half Men." And did I mention the show’s a big hit?

Finally, I saw one blog post that said Sheen will be treated differently than Woods because Sheen is white. In fact, Sheen’s real name is Carlos Irwin Estévez, and his grandfather on his dad’s side is from Spain.

The truth of the matter is that not all of our celebrities are treated equally. And if one is known for behaving badly and once again behaves badly, he or she gets a pass.

To be crude about it, it’s the new, fresh meat that we like to grind up. Leftovers have always been of less interest.#


  1. Your comments on the two cases may be accurate, however Sheen may actually have to serve jail time for this offense, especially considering he is a repeat offender. He could get up to 3 years according to Colorado law. I hope they throw the book at him, and I will not be supporting any of his sponsors or television projects. Yes, this is not as shocking as the Tiger Woods reveleation, because the public already sees him as a bad bay. The public reacted so strongly to the Tiger Woods scandal because he was a beloved figure, and the public felt betrayed by his false image. But threatening your wife’s life with a knife can not really be swept under the carpet, and Sheen will certainly face consequences for this.

  2. Hi! I agree with your comments. It is also the case that Sheen’s character on his sitcom is not that far off what he is in real life – admittedly, without the violence, but still hardly a role model. So, Sheen will get a pass.
    BTW, Spanish people are “white”. In fact, they’re about as white as you can get, if you look at the history of Latin America. I’m not quite sure why Americans seem to think that everyone with a Spanish name is somehow “not white” (whatever that may mean). The people coming from Central America are very mixed. Many are mestizos and are a combination of Spanish and Amerindian. Many are not, or are of Spanish descent and have managed to minimize interaction with the native population. The issue is much more complex than “Spanish name means non-white”. Charlie Sheen is “white” by any measure.

  3. While I agree that Sheen is “white” by most standards, what does that have to do with him getting off easier than Tiger? I’m sick and tired of people trying to play the race card when all it does is further the divide between races. Tiger got treated differently because he was seen as a family man with good values. Sheen has a proven track record and that’s it. Let’s leave race out of it because that’s just ignorant.

  4. Since when are Spaniards not white? Spaniards are european, and anyone thinking Sheen in not white just because he has a Spanish surname will never understand racial politics in America, being either utterly confused or else hopelessly hoping for it not to be an issue anymore (or both).

  5. FYI to the writer….people from Spain are white

  6. So you mean the famous should start there carrers being bad so they won’t get a big ccomotion when something like this happens cause it will be something to be expected…..due to the ones that are not bad, cause then you’ll get the end of the stick….THAT’S NOT RIGHT, that’s something to really think about…if anything what Charlie did is way worst than what Woods did

  7. You are out of your mind. You must be white. White people never see racism even when it hits them in the face. This is racism — nothing to do with expectations. As far as Charlie Sheen’s real name… It’s not WHAT he is, it’s what people THINK he is. People think that Charlie Sheen — who is minor Hollywood royalty — is white.

  8. well it seems that even going into the year 2010, people ARE just AS racist as they were 20 years ago, and ALMOST as bad as when slavery finally ended… meaning even though slavery was illegal it didnt stop people from doing despicable things to them or treating them differently BECAUSE of their COLOR. than you have the people that claim NOT to be racist but yet, (take this article for example), they read more into things like “this is what happen to sheen but on the other hand this is what happened to woods”… conclusion: “well it must be because one is white and the other is black.” so therefore in the end by claiming the way the public (or other people) reacted so differently to these two cases it must mean it was done out of RACISM, (because sheen is white and woods is black). well hate to say but that in turn makes this guy JUST AS RACIST as the people he is claiming are being racist. it is because he (and people just like this) are “seeing” (or reading into) a reaction or judgement from someone towards someone of color because they ARE of color. MEANING: they (as in the public) must be making woods’ case a BIGGER DEAL CAUSE HE IS BLACK. so you see this person is claiming that it is because of racism that the public is reacting differently between the two cases, which make him kinda racist for thinking that it was done because one is of color and the other not. he is “SEEING” these INDIVIDUALS for the COLOR they ARE, instead of SEEING them as the PEOPLE they ARE!!! dont you think that you CANT EVEN COME CLOSE TO COMPARING THIS TWO?!?! i mean come on what woods did and what sheen did, this is TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CIRRCUMSTANCES, with TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE that have TWO DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES and TWO DIFFERENT LIFESTYLES, SO let me ask you this HOW ARE WE SUPPOSE TO REACT THE SAME WHEN THERE ISNT “ANYTHING” THE SAME BETWEEN THEESE TWO CASES?!?!?!
    “Let’s leave race out of it because that’s just ignorant.”

  9. I love Charlie Sheen. I’m sure he’ll have a new wife and two new kids in two years. Like Robert Downey Jr. there is just something about him that makes society forgive him. Both have been very honest about their lifestyles and mistakes vs. Tiger who pretended to be something he was not

  10. My issue with the author bringing up the race issue is that he offered no opinion on it.
    This is your blog — why bring up a potentially volatile issue without offering any opinion? You might as well have left that possible aspect of it alone.
    As the Tiger Woods/Charlie Sheen connection or lack thereof — it IS a race issue but not for the reason you think.
    Tiger Woods represented a positive black (or half-black or blasian depending on your perspective) that is so rare in mainstream media. To see him fall is a blow to the image of the Black man in America. Yes — we all want racism to be a thing of the past but in some respects, it isn’t. There is pain, confusion and anger that isn’t dealt with properly on either side of the issue.
    That having been said, if Charlie is going to get a bit of a pass in the media, so should Tiger. After all, both are HUMANS with hormones and sex drives that often take control over their Think Tanks.
    Villify them both or treat them both as two people who made equally stupid mistakes regardless of the level of shock.

  11. So why was Tiger’s wife not investgated for hitting him with a gold club? Maybe breaking a tooth? Double Standard. Women often get away with domestic violence when men would not.

  12. You are an idiot…It is not racist to bring up the difference because it proves a point you retard. That when a black person does something the public over reacts and when a white person does it it’s no big deal. That’s reality…it’s not fiction it’s playing out before our very eyes. One man cheats on his wife…the other threatens to kill his wife..yet Tiger’s the one being crucified. Why??? Just because they are two different people? That’s the best you could come up with? Even Chris Brown didn’t hold a knife to Rihanna’s neck or have the history of violence Sheen has. You’re full of it..the double standard BS is as clear as day

  13. One cheated on his wife…the other threatened to kill his wife. How ON EARTH are they equal? Explain that to me….

  14. It’s ignorant to automatically assume that race isn’t a factor just because it’s not the only factor.

  15. It’s pretty evident that the reason Sheen’s story isn’t much front-page news (except with TMZ, etc.) is that he does have the bad boy image. Tiger Woods, on the other hand, had a family image.
    And the only effect it will have on Sheen’s career is possible jail time and higher insurance rates for the studio. Otherwise, the fans already expect bad behavior from him. Which is a shame. Reminds me of a sports figures who get into all sorts of trouble but still continue to play as they bring in money, and face it, Sheen brings in money to CBS.
    And mind you, right now it’s he said/she said. Let the courts iron out who is telling the truth.

  16. ALLEGEDLY threatened to kill his wife. Unless you’ve read a new development that I have not.
    And TV Viewer — Woods appearances at any golf tourney also brings in the money for CBS, who telecasts most of them.

  17. Time will sure tell how the public and sponsors respond to both Tiger and Charlie. It does seem we tend to be less outraged when the news dies down and we don’t hear about the celebraties for awhile. Then they come back and we go on. I am sad that both Tiger and Charlie have trouble in their lives, and both “self-inflicted”. The will both need to do their “time”.

  18. It has to do with honesty. Charlie Sheen will not make up some story to cover up. He will say “yea, I’ve got issues”, do his time, pay his fines, pay-off his future x-wife and move on. He is who he is. Tiger tried to lead a double life. He tried to be Mr. Perfect publicly and a playboy privately. His deceit finally caught up to him.

  19. I cannot believe you think that Spanish people are not white. Let me guess…Journalism major in college?

  20. The reason people bring race up everytime is because they have an inflated ethnocentric view which makes them believe they are better than everyone else and the only bad things that happen to them are some other race’s fault.

  21. I’ll bet every traffic ticket, every person who didn’t like you, every slight that has afflicted you in any way has had racism at its root. If only we could get rid of racism altogether so that the world can see how utterly flawless you are. You are a gem. A true spectacle of perfection. Sadly, I could never be like you, as I do not have enough cop out excuses to wipe away my personal responsibility.

  22. The Tiger Woods issue has nothing to do with race and your argument is silly. Dennis Rodman, Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan are all immoral jerks that cheat on their wives.
    The difference is that Tiger and his corporate buddies portrayed him as a family man with values. That image was cashed in on by many who hid the hoax from the public. The outrage is a reaction to being deceived by Tiger, the media, his associates and his sponsors. We never really saw the “real” Tiger.
    When you cash in on an image, you risk suffering the consequences of reality.
    I have always been sick of people trying to make Tiger Woods and everything he does into a racial issue. Seriously, those of you that want to identify yourself and “your people” by color or race… I think that is pathetic. What defines a person is not their color or ethnicity. Too many in our world try to put people into segments because of how they look. That is wrong whether your are black, white or anything else.

  23. When did Spaniards become “White”? When I see Penelope Cruz I don’t think “white chick”.

  24. I hate to even go there with you but it is about race…….for example you have Janet Jackson who is African American….wardrobe malfunction she was treated terrible all across America,Brittany Spears who is White, who was caught driving with her child on her lap acting as if she was on drugs partying to the wee hours of the night, you name it she did it, and what does she get in return, welcomed back to the red-carpet events etc……….next is Kobe Vs Ben(Steelers QB)both accused of Rape………Kobe lost endorsements and Ben was just welcomed back with open arms you do the math….you also have Angelina Jolie and Tori Spelling who have been labeled as Powerful people instead of home wreckers……….If it had been Halle Berry sleeping with someone’s husband America would still be talking about it……..

  25. Mike I disagree with you, first of all do you think that it is right for Hane’s to run any ads featuring Charlie Sheen at this time since there is proof that he in fact was involved with shoving his wife and putting a knife to her throat……..If Michael Jordan had been accused of the same thing that Charlie Sheen is being accused of, the first thing that Hane’s would have done was to pull the commercial off the air, and they would have every right to do so because I would not want anyone like that representing my company………and as far as who cheats on their wives, most of these women know that their husbands cheat, and they put up with it because they do not want to give up their lavish unhappy lifestyles……..it is sad but it is true………..and as far as Tiger goes he did not put himself up above all the rest, America did, people fail to realize that these people are human beings first, they have faults and make mistakes just like everybody else. and also everyone that is accusing him of everything that they can think of, have most likely done the same thing if not worse………I would love to find out how many people who are accusing Tiger have clean closets themselves…………

  26. So Scott are you saying that the way that Charlie presented himself is acceptable………Tiger did not say that he was perfect ,,,,,,,,,,,America did………….at least he has a history of cheating which is a little better than domestic violence

  27. Leon, and when you see Penelope Cruz, what do you see? In case you weren’t aware, Spain is in Europe, not Latin America. But of course, you must see ‘white’ as blonde, pale-skinned peoples from the north, right? Ignorance is not bliss, but blight.

  28. No, I’m just saying Charlie Sheen is who he is. He’s an unstable nut job and everyone knows it. So when he does something stupid it’s no surprise to anyone. Tiger on the other hand, tried to portray himself to the public as something he is not. Yes, the world thought of him as perfect and he tried to perpetuate that as his public persona. He knew what he was doing – he paid people for their silence. Discovering how Tiger behaved in his private life was a shock to most people. I’m not defending Charlie or against Tiger. The subject of the article was why they are treated differently.

  29. You make interesting points, however you propagate the myth that anyone with a Spanish surname is NOT white-when in fact Portuguese and Spanish are most definitely white Europeans unless they are imported from the colonies as residents. Also the idea that our standards are lower based on past behavior is flawed, because Woods’ past behavior was just better concealed than Sheen’s, whose sexual antics were only revealed after a certain Madam’s arrest. Bottom line is Tiger’s facade was so well cemented and intact, that the massive mistress parade breach was truly shocking, whereas Sheen’s behavior is more pitiful and seen as sad and typical of a man in the throes of a continued downward spiral.
    A better question is: Why do so many people watch that odious CBS show “Two and a Half Men”? It’s pure crap.

  30. Leon, guess what: Iranians are white, so are Indians, the dot on the head ones. Their skin may be dark but go ask any anthropologist what race these people are. Or better yet, call an Iranian and “arab” and see how fast you get clocked. White people come in various colors, race identity is more complex than just melanin count.

  31. Please reread the drivel you posted, and go back to school.

  32. I think that the Spanish are considered white still is some circles.

  33. While from a legality perspective, Sheen’s action appear to be far more serious, I agree that Tiger will pay a far stiffer price in terms of damage to his public image. The contrast between Tiger’s public personna and his now-revealed actions was so great and his fame so large that a great deal of money has been made and will continue to be made off of it. We can look back at the OJ case as an example where careers were spawned and an even greater amount of money was made by media outlets. There was a much greater contrast in the pre and post public image for OJ than for Tiger.

  34. Tiger woods was fake with his.

  35. Yes, Spaniards are white – but have you ever been asked to identify yourself from pre-set racial definitions? Hispanics – those of Spanish origin – indeed have a separate category. That in itself is probably racist – perpetuating special category treatment both positive and negative. Germans, Italians, Irish, Polish, etc., are also frequently white but don’t merit a special category when self-identifying.
    Yes, even in 2010 racism still exists and Chuck raised valid questions. Time will tell.

  36. That’s just silly sir!! You’re telling me that a persons character is based on their mistakes(huh!). Tiger Woods gave us over 30years of excellence(remember he started when he was 2yrs old) and a moment of horror but yet you base his life, character, skill set, demeanor and talent on a personal mistake that deals with infidelity, which just about every person in the history of marriage has undergone, what??? Really??? So basicaly your saying the world was duped into thinking that the greatest athlete in our history was not real but an image, WOW! You really sound racist and dumb!!!

  37. I couldn’t dissagree more Mike. That’s just silly sir!! You’re telling me that a persons character is based on their mistakes(huh!). Tiger Woods gave us over 30years of excellence(remember he started when he was 2yrs old) and a moment of horror but yet you base his life, character, skill set, demeanor and talent on a personal mistake that deals with infidelity, which just about every person in the history of marriage has undergone, what??? Really??? So basicaly your saying the world was duped into thinking that the greatest athlete in our history was not real but an image, WOW! You really sound racist and dumb!!!

  38. MacCala who are you talking to?

  39. Tiger is in for more public outcry than Charlie because violence is more acceptable in our culture than sex.

  40. It’s interesting, because this was not merely a heated argument b/w spouses, but Charlie hit his wife and PUT A KNIFE TO HER THROAT! That is CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. How that can be swept under the rug is beyond me. And this is not the first time a woman has called Charlie out for physical abuse, but yet the media, and it seems much of the public, are ho-hum about it because he’s always been a “bad boy”?
    This situation is not even comparable to Robert Downey Jr’s, b/c as far as we know, he only physically abused himself with drugs. Charlie also abused himself with drugs and alcohol AND abused women as well…
    Tiger Woods cheated on his wife, but he did NOT commit a crime. He didn’t portray himself as a saint…that was the media and the public. He rarely did an interview and pretty much kept his private life private until now. Many men do the same thing and are still considered “family men,” because despite their infidelity, they love and take care of their family. I don’t agree with what they do, but that is the way it goes many times.
    However, as disrespectful and selfish as adultery is, hitting and putting a knife to your wife’s throat & threatening her is CRIMINAL and is in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ballpark. The person who wrote this article was correct in saying that it is a different situation from Tiger’s…in fact, it is FAR WORSE, because the other person’s physical life and health have been directly affected.
    Most people will probably agree that if they had to choose b/w the two, they’d much rather have a spouse who has stepped out on them rather than one who physically abuses them and threatens their life with a sharp object to the throat.
    There MOST DEFINITELY is a DOUBLE-STANDARD at work here, and it is MOST DEFINITELY a SHAME. How people can justify it really shows how sick this country really is.

  41. Not sure where to post this but I wanted to ask if anyone has heard of National Clicks?
    Can someone help me find it?
    Overheard some co-workers talking about it all week but didn’t have time to ask so I thought I would post it here to see if someone could help me out.
    Seems to be getting alot of buzz right now.

  42. Please reread the drivel you posted, and go back to school.

  43. Thank you for sharing…

  44. can’t believe that it is the guy at two and a half man, what a shame!!

  45. Hi! I agree with your comments. It is also the case that Sheen’s character on his sitcom is not that far off what he is in real life – admittedly, without the violence

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