Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Angus T. Jones -- holy shit!

So Angus T. Jones has found religion and publicly told America to not watch his show, TWO AND A HALF MEN, because it’s “filth.”

Just so I have this straight – he was fine doing the show all the previous years? The subject matter of the show was not a surprise to him? It’s not like he signed up for one thing but it became something else? He’s made a ton of money over this period? He’s currently earning $300,000 an episode? And during the run of the show the producers, studio, and network have taken good care of him? He received all the (free) education he was entitled to as a minor? No labor laws were broken? He was never forced to work 20-hour days or put himself in danger at any time? Chuck Lorre never made him wash his car?

I’m not getting anything here that would sway me to take his side. No. What I see is an incredibly ungrateful confused young man who has just committed career suicide and left himself open for major lawsuits.

I guarantee that in a year, or two, or five he will look back at this in horror and say, “What the fuck did I do?” Yes, he will use the word fuck, for even if he remains a devoutly religious man he will realize that he made the biggest most costly mistake of his life. By then it will be way too late. The next time you will see him is on an E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY or THE CELEBRITY FIT CLUB.

And my feeling? As someone who has been a producer and showrunner, I would feel bad that this once-good kid has had his head so turned around that he would do something idiotic like this, but I would write him out of the show immediately and send him on his holy way. His character is now in the army anyway. Time to ship out, soldier!

Now you could argue that he’s being fired for expressing his religious beliefs. I would argue that we are graciously giving someone his freedom who didn’t want to be there. Personally, I don’t care what religion he believes in, but I am asking him to believe in my show. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request.

For a wildly successful series, TWO AND A HALF MEN has been snake-bit. One and a half men have become PR nightmares. I think the tealeaves are saying it’s time to end this show already.

This is a classic case of biting the hand that feeds you, but at the end of the day I find the whole affair just sad. Charlie Sheen is one thing. He’s supposedly an adult. But Angus T. Jones is just 19. He’s still a kid. Who hasn’t done really dumb things when they were 19? Not this dumb but still!

If I may quote what I think is the Bible:

It is better to remain silent than to speak the truth ill-humoredly, and spoil an excellent dish by covering it with bad sauce.
--St. Francis De Sales

90 comments:

Abe Server said...

Sounds like time for your readers to offer plot suggestions on how best to write Angus out of the show.

E.G....he gets killed tragically at an "Up With People" reunion concert when the stage collapses

Mark said...

I agree with you Ken. As a believer myself, I think the more tactful (adult) approach would be to tell his boss(es) "I'm not comfortable being here anymore...how soon can I get out without hurting the show/co-stars/crew/etc? And what can I do in the meantime that doesn't violate who I want to be as a person, but still supports the show?"

I fear he's being used by someone for his cash/fame and they don't care about the mess his career will be from here forward.

It's admirable to stand up for what you believe to be right. It's horrible to hurt others in your 'cause'.

Jeremiah Avery said...

I don't watch the show (no real appeal to me) but I also don't have much sympathy for him. He's still cashing those checks so he apparently doesn't find the show so morally repugnant that he won't still find a way to profit off of it.

I'd have given him some credibility if there was some sort of addendum to his statement; such as he's still contractually obligated to the show and thus why he hasn't left. And since he feels so dirty being on the show he'll be donating his salary to some organization.

But that's not going to happen.

David Whitham said...

It has to be Jon Cryer's fault. It's obvious working with him drives his co-stars crazy.

rockgolf said...

Yeah, I figured this might not be able to wait for a Friday question.

Ben Bragg said...

Have him step on an IED in Afghanistan. Replace him with a precocious six year old fathered by Ashton Kutcher during a one night stand.

ScottyB said...

There's nothing wrong with being uber-religious, and I imagine there are probably quite a few of them doing shows which at times make them cringe. But they also realize they're *actors* dammit, so they do the job, collect the money off the dresser, go home, and count their blessings for having an opportunity (and cash -- wow, the cash!!) most of us can only dream about.

I'm not sure whether Angus deep-sixed his career, tho. Willie Ames from 'Eight is Enough' seems to be doing OK with his whole Christian superhero thing.

McAlvie said...

Well, I agree that the show is filth. But he doesn't seem to mind profiting from it.

William C Bonner said...

Did you intentionally change settings related to reading via RSS? I now am much more likely to miss your posts because of the changes in the last week or so.

I used to like Two and a Half Men, but stopped watching long before Charlie Sheen left the show. I watched a few episodes after he'd been replaced, was surprised how well the change worked, but didn't feel the need to tune in regularly.

It sounds like the show really has run its course and should retire to syndication. It's already on at least 5 nights a week in my market.

Mike Barer said...

what a dysfunctional "family"

Diana said...

I just want to second William C Bonner's comment about the RSS feed. Did you change to a truncated version on purpose? Would you consider returning to a full-post feed?

With regard to Angus T. Jones, I don't watch the show, but agree that he very likely ended his career with this move.

DBA said...

Interesting take. I agree it was stupid if he ever wants to have a career, but I sort of assumed he... doesn't. It seemed like he wants to be fired; maybe he even already expressed a desire to go a different way (a la Kirk Cameron) and they told him no; then asked to be let go, maybe they also told him no, so his next idea was to make a big fuss publicly and go the route of Charlie. That would be, I think, still extremely rude and biting the hand that feeds him, but less idiotic, more calculated. Plus doesn't he probably already have enough money to do nothing the rest of his life? So he can basically do this and not suffer for it.

jcs said...

Ken, I think you're overanalysing this a tad. There's a young actor - who barely can call himself an adult - who said something pretty stupid. Because the actor is well-known and because he is on this particular show he gets more domestic press coverage than most truly significant events outside the US. Charlie Sheen was given at least a dozen of second chances, shouldn't Angus T. Jones get one? I say let's take a step back, wait for a heartfelt apology and focus on more important issues like: Why is the wardrobe department of "The Good Wife" so awesome?

But really, why are "Good Wife" scripts so well-written, the guest actors so well chosen and why does Christine Baranski look so fabulous in every episode? Do you by any chance have an answer or two?

Jest Jake said...

Angus has apologized, sorta:

"...because once the Church gets all my money I might need to work again... And I saw what happened to Charlie and shit fuck, I don't want that happening to me..."

Or maybe it's a new type of negotiating trick to get a raise. But I doubt it.

JT Anthony said...

It seems many professional athletes and actors are ill-equipped to handle the pressure demanded of them. Friday questions: how do those "suddenly" thrust into the public spotlight best gain the emotional wherewithal and gravitas to handle themselves appropriately? Is it the nature of the beast in Hollywood for actors? Who have handled it best?

Brian O. said...

Was his testimony meant to go viral? Granted, anything recorded or written risks public exposure. It the intent was not to go viral I'd be questioning the church and others how and why this got out.

Jones' faith developed over time. At what point he came to believe his show was filth and no longer merely tawdry is unknown.

If his testimonial was meant to be private, at least exclusive to his church, then I sway towards Jones. If he deliberately released his testimonial to the public then, yeah, big mistake.

Ann Onymouse said...

"There's nothing wrong with being uber-religious" has got to be the stupidest thing I've heard all week. No, month. Tell that to the uber-religious idiots who like to blow themselves up in public places, or otherwise kill other people because they're not uber-religious enough, or uber-religious in the wrong religion. Think about how much pain and suffering has been caused throughout human history in the name of religion (any religion). I mean, come again?

Brian Phillips said...

Growing up in public, is becoming increasingly difficult. I have a good rep with you folks, but heck, none of you have even so much as seen me.

As for whether he should have said what he did, probably not and he has issued a second statement. Other (older) religious actors have been in provocative roles and have not said something to undermine their bread and butter. Theresa Graves ("Get Christie Love") and Lisa Whelchel ("The Facts of Life") are two people that come to mind. Whelchel took the "Levine" route when a storyline came up that had her character lose her virginity. She objected and they rewrote, but this is something I found out AFTER the run of the show. I didn't see any press about it at the time. I also didn't watch a whole lot of TFOL, either.

If Jones wants to serve the Lord (I'm a Christian, so I don't have an issue with that), I am sure that if he is tithing, darned near ANY church would appreciate the thirty to thirty-five thousand he'd be donating.

And anyone with a Twitter account (like Jones) that doesn't imagine that something said would not go viral is flat out lying to himself.

Mac said...

If I was 19 and getting £300,000 an episode I'd be busy enjoying all sorts of filth, not complaining about it. I can't help thinking that that sort of attitude at 19 didn't exactly come from any reasoned theological inquiry, and the poor guy is probably very confused.


Still, that Lifetime movie of the true story behind hit show "Two And A Half Men," which will be known as "Gus And Chuck," is going to be a belter.

David said...

I'm not sure I understand the venom here. Jones made an admittedly ungracious and unfortunate remark while talking about his faith. It was posted on a YouTube channel for his ministry, and it blew up in the media.

His actual, impressive post-furor statement:

"I have been the subject of much discussion, speculation and commentary over the past 24 hours. While I cannot address everything that has been said or right every misstatement or misunderstanding, there is one thing I want to make clear.

"Without qualification, I am grateful to and have the highest regard and respect for all of the wonderful people on Two and Half Men with whom I have worked and over the past ten years who have become an extension of my family.

"Chuck Lorre, Peter Roth and many others at Warner Bros. and CBS are responsible for what has been one of the most significant experiences in my life to date. I thank them for the opportunity they have given and continue to give me and the help and guidance I have and expect to continue to receive from them.

"I also want all of the crew and cast on our show to know how much I personally care for them and appreciate their support, guidance and love over the years. I grew up around them and know that the time they spent with me was in many instances more than with their own families. I learned life lessons from so many of them and will never forget how much positive impact they have had on my life.

"I apologize if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed. I never intended that."

Yes, he screwed up, but I don't see this as Sheen Redux. Give the kid a break.

odjennings said...

" suggestions on how best to write Angus out of the show."

You don't. You do a Chuck Cunningham on him and forget it. Remember Chuck, the other brother on Happy Days? He went upstairs one episode and was never seen again.

That not only fixes the problem, it sends a message to every other actor who wants get on the soapbox.

Once he's dispatched, finding a cute kid to be the 1/2 is simple.

Charles H. Bryan said...

People say filth as if it's a bad thing. Don't judge!

Anonymous said...

David said...
I'm not sure I understand the venom here. Jones made an admittedly ungracious and unfortunate remark while talking about his faith. It was posted on a YouTube channel for his ministry, and it blew up in the media.

We forget he was 9 when his PARENTS signed him up for this. I applaud his honesty about the show. While it is funny...sometimes...it is filthy. I don't care how much money was thrown my way, my child would not have done this show. His statement today was impressive, quick to clarify, and a mature response to his immature mistake.

If we can 'forgive' Charlie and give him 5+ chances, lets give this kid a break.

Pam aka sisterzip

Michael Fox said...

I think he'll go the way of many a child actor, leave or get fired from the show and then slip into obscurity. The show needed to end after Charlie exploded, but...

Hear O Israel said...

I agree with the posters who feel we should give the kid a break. He's grown up in sit-com school and he's just trying to express himself. If he erred in how he did that he certainly redeemed himself in his follow up comments.

Mike Bell said...

I honestly think he's miffed that he's already virtually off the show this season. He's a title character on the show (He IS the "half") and with the exception of the M. Cyrus arc, his character has been absent this season.

chas said...

I overheard someone in the elevator speculating that this was just a publicity stunt because the show's ratings have been falling. Nothing like talking about filth to attract new viewers.

BruceB said...

$350,000 times 24 episodes is $8,400,000 for one season. I'm sure he's been well paid for all the previous seasons, and has, and will continue to receive large amounts of money in residuals for the syndicated episodes running constantly all across the country and probably many other countries around the world. So what exactly is "career suicide" when you don't have any need for any career anymore for the rest of your comfortably very wealthy life? I think he's safe to say anything he wants.

Terrence Moss said...

It's Hollywood. This is hardly a career-ender.

I say shut up, take the money and run. When your contract runs out, don't renew and live your life and faith. Simple as that.

This was unnecessary. A great story -- and likely a publicity stunt -- but unnecessary. And apologizing doesn't mitigate any of it.

I am tired of the stupid remarks and the residual apologies. Everyone knows what they're saying when they're saying it. What they don't know is how what they say will land -- which is why, when you're making $300K a week, you shut the fuck up.

That said, I do believe there were two actors who played Chuck Cunningham.

Pat Quinn said...

This young man is not new to acting. Wasn't he Frasier's kid?

I am not sure that he knew that his video was going to get the attention that it has gotten. I know, you do a video these days and you should expect the world to see it. But this seems like it was a low production video that was created for a specific audience.

I believe that if he thought this was going to reach a larger audience that he would not have said that.

camelama said...

Pat Quinn - On "Frasier", Frederick Crane was played by Trevor Einhorn for all episodes.

Norm said...

Calling it 2-1/2 men has always puzzled me since it should be 2-11/2000th man. "Almost" every episode I've seen, his on-screen time is minimal and it seems like he only shows up every two or three weeks. (He is definitely NOT in every episode.)

Considering his minimal participation, I think they would ride out the season and worry about next year - if there is one!

Thumper said...

He's a kid; for that reason alone I'd cut him a break and let his apology stand. We all said really stupid things when we were teenagers and very young adults...he'll either grow up and realize the enormity of what he said and how stupid it is, or he'll get in line with Kirk Cameron. Either way...he never has to work again.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I think the fuss will die down and Jones will likely wind up with a decent career as an adult actor (if he wants one). He's clearly talented, has a fine sense of comic timing, and never really relied just on being cute.

That said, I do hope his parents have his fortune stashed in a trust fund where he can't access it until he's grown up some more. In the first flush of being saved (or under the influence of someone unscrupulous) he could easily make some bad financial decisions that would have much longer-lasting consequences than saying something dumb at 19.

I'd expect Chuck Lorre, who clearly has his own personal demons, to be more forgiving than Ken seems inclined to be. As long as kid shows up on time, knows his lines, and is a pleasure to work with.

wg

John Leader Alfenito said...

Watching the YouTube video I came to the conclusion that young Angus is simply not very bright. His (apparently) sincere criticism of "Two & A Half Men" found him hopelessly lost for the simplest of synonyms.
So, while his acting future is most probably not promising, I'd be concerned that his lack of intelligence (and judgement) will prove to be his biggest obstacle in the future.
The wording of his apology was so out of his league, I wonder if he even saw it before the PR firm that wrote it put it out there.

Janice said...

I think the writers should have Jake request a celebrity date with Demi Moore for the next Military Ball... they fall in love and run off for a quickie Kabbalah wedding and live happily ever after in a retirement community in Laguna Hills.

Anonymous said...

I work for a newspaper. If I put anything out there publicly telling people not to read our paper, I'd be fired. And rightly so. In fact, this Angus Jones was very adamant about not wanting people to watch the show. I think he could be easily replaced. Julie

RCP said...

I agree this was a dumb thing to say - and I guess 19 is still a "kid" though you're certainly old enough to go off to war at that age.

That said, Jones does have some growing up to do - hopefully he'll realize that wearing your religion on your sleeve and being self-righteous ("filth") has more to do with the human ego than anything else.

cadavra said...

If there is a saint in this business, it's gotta be Jon Cryer. It's gotta be hell waking up every morning not knowing what kind of stupid shit one of your co-stars is gonna pull.

Cleveland said...

Still, the kid has a point. 2.5 men was actually pretty entertaining 10 years ago. But lately it relies only on sex humour. There's not the slightest attempt to allow characters to grow or mature. Any heart the show once had dissipated long ago.

Last week's episode had Jon Cryer's character riff on having lockjaw for 3 minutes after attempting to unsuccessfully orally pleasure his girlfriend. That's before Walden announces he's going to shave his private parts because "Momma likes me smooth!"

Big laugh.

Uh, yeah. Maybe it is time for all the characters in this show (along with its writers) to join young Angus and ship off.

Jerry Smith said...

But Ken, "Men" is filth. I admit he wasn't subtle in his criticism, and he should have lived up to his contract and left, not bitten the hand that has fed him millions. But aren't you critical of shows that do nothing but vagina jokes? How is "Men" different (besides the ratings)? It's not what I would have done, but let's call a spade a spade.

Ted said...

I have known a few former child actors. They had their careers chosen for them, and by the time they grew up, they had serious issues about wanting to stay in the acting profession at all. But that was before the internet.

Marty Fufkin said...

If he truly feels that he's gotten rich doing Satan's work, he should donate ALL of his earnings to the church. If he's not willing to do that -- if he keeps the money he earned doing something that he believes is harming mankind -- then that speaks volumes. For me, the question is not whether or not he stays on the show. It is, What will Angus do to repair the damage he believes he's done to the world at large? That is the true test of character.

But of course he will keep his wealth. I've seen enough (too much) hypocrisy from these fundamentalists in my lifetime. We all know how these things go.

Mike Schryver said...

The show *is* filth, of course.

I think all the people saying "give him a break, he's only 19" are missing the point. If he finds the show as damaging to society as he says, he should leave.
Staying on a show you feel this way about is horribly hypocritical, and that's what people are reacting to.

I also hope he isn't being used by people who don't have his best interests at heart, but I don't see how he can stay on the show. Ship his character overseas. Or cancel the damn thing already.

John said...

Jeez, you think he could have joined a safe Hollywood religion, like Scientology or Kabbalah (is that one still hip right now, or has it lost it's trendiness? If not, there's always Tibetan
Buddhism -- that one just never goes out of style).

Speaking out probably wasn't a great career move, but when you've been part of a hit show for nearly a decade, somebody's going to try and make lighting strike twice and put Angus in another show. It just probably isn't going to be Chuck Lorre doing it.

Marty Fufkin said...

I also notice he's given one of those "Non-Apology" apologies. "I apologize IF [caps mine] my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect," etc. Not "I apologize THAT my remarks..."

I hate the way public figures always apologize with an IF. They're saying, "I didn't think I did anything wrong, but IF you think I did, that's your problem, and for that I feel sorry... for you."

jbryant said...

Look, obviously at some recent point in the show's run, he got religion and "saw the light" about the nature of the thing. What looks like bawdy fun to the average viewer looks like promoting sin to a religious viewer. I imagine he felt he had to be true to his new beliefs and 'go public' about it rather than live a lie. I don't know what his contract is, but the better way to do this would've been to quit or ask out of his deal. Part of the philosophy of hardcore Christians is to witness to 'the lost,' and, y'know, practice what you preach. He might see it as hypocritical to keep taking the paycheck without protesting what he finds to be objectionable content.

If it's just a guy standing up for his principles, however wacky some may find them, I don't see the big deal. I'll bet if this was some hunky young actor quitting a cop show because he suddenly realized it was glorifying violence, we wouldn't be hearing nearly as much snark about it, except maybe on Fox News.

MikeBo said...

Ken, Angus' original remarks seemed at least genuine, however self-destructive. But the "follow up remarks" had all the sincerity of an all night writing session at one of Tinseltown's major crisis PR firms.

Several of my good friends and colleagues in the business moved on to become ministers and found rich, rewarding new careers. One of them, Rich Buhler blended his faith and his broadcasting talents and gained a huge audience as an author and Christian radio talk show host. I don't recall any of them having a meltdown like Angus McDonald. I sense something else went awry.

-bee said...

I think you're being way too hard on Mr. Jones, Ken.

Any show that stakes some or all of its success on the shoulders of a child/children is taking a big risk and has the responsibility to roll with the punches. Yes, Jones is no longer a child, but he was when he was cast and for many of the years after.

Even though I am not coming at this from a "christian" perspective, if I didn't think 2/M was such a depressingly crass, mean-spirited pile of sh*t that makes me despair those who enjoy it, I might feel differently of what Jones said - but as it is I essentially agree with what he said.

As for fallout, I hope both that Jones has the right to quit the show AND/OR that the show has the right to fire Jones - but I am not privy to the ins and outs of these contracts.

WorstWriterEver said...

If this had been a David Kelley show, I would agree with you Ken.

But this is a Chuck Lorre show .. and I think I have to (with obvious caveats) side with Angus here.

Cap'n Bob said...

Don't watch, don't care. But it always galls me to see someone become a zealot. If he wants to rid himself of that filthy lucre in a hurry he can join the Scientology Organized Crime Family. They'll bleed him try toot sweet.

D. McEwan said...

"Ann Onymouse said...
"There's nothing wrong with being uber-religious" has got to be the stupidest thing I've heard all week. No, month."


Amen, sister, amen.

What is all this "Cut him some slack; he's only 19; he's a kid" crap? He's 19, more than old enough to fight and die for his country, or is that the choice of an immature mind also? Oh look, his character is a soldier. More than old enough to vote. Do we not-count the votes of 18 to 21 year olds because "They're just kids"?

I gota agree with John Leader Alfenito's assement; this is the work of a man who is not very bright. Apparenly, Angus is much closer in IQ to the character he plays than I'd thought. He wasn't "acting" dumb.

The "apology" was truly hilarious. "I apologize if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed. I never intended that" when I said that their (our) work was "filth" that rots your brian. I meant that in a nice way.

You know what rots your brain? Religion. Looks like someone's church remembered where the money they take out of Angus's pockets comes from.

"I'm sorry. I was high on Jesus. Let this be a lesson, kids. Don't make videos or drive while high on Jesus." Do they have rehab for those who get high on Jesus?

Interesting Angus T. Jones GIANT Irony: He spent most of his childhood and adolescence around Charlie Sheen trading dirty jokes, yet it turns out that Sheen was NOT the "Bad influence" in his life.

Rebecca said...

Friday Question somewhat related to this:

CBS has two hit show right now that most people agree have run their course: 2.5M and How I Met Your Mother. If you are CBS would you cancel both shows at the end of this season? I mean sure, you still have Big Bang Theory and the Pulitzer-Prize winning Rules of Engagement, but do you think CBS would be smart to cut both shows at once? Which one do you think they will hang onto longer?

Matt Bird said...

C'mon, Jones deserves a lot more sympathy here.

He's been doing a job since before he had much choice in the matter, and he's been very successful, but now he's grown up and realized that it's something he's not proud of and he doesn't want to do anymore.

In a burst of enthusiasm while hanging out with members of his small community, he made an honest statement about his feelings, without thinking ahead and realizing that it would be seen all over the world. When he realized his mistake, he apologized.

Everybody here, even Ken, seems to be operating under the automatic assumption that everybody in Hollywood needs to keep climbing the ladder at all costs, even after they've made more money than they can ever possibly spend. Why?

In the video Jones clearly says he isn't proud of what he does and he wants out of the profession, so it hardly makes sense to watch that and then mock him for screwing up his career, right?

odjennings said...

"If he wants to rid himself of that filthy lucre in a hurry he can join the Scientology Organized Crime Family. They'll bleed him try toot sweet."

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I wish for the kid's sake it was Scientology who had their hooks in him instead of this bunch.

At least Scientology knows better than to let their victims commit career suicide.

That "minister" or whatever he is doing the interview reminds me of a cat who just caught an especially fat mouse. You know he isn't thinking long term about the kid's well being.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this really seems about a young mind chasing the simple virtues of extremist positions - and that should not be confused with spiritual awakening and benefits of religion and community. It isn't "about finding religion with Seventh Day Adventists" because the signs are ominous and confused signals are coming from the real Seventh Day Adventists church itself about it and their new member.
A mega-rich 19 year-old suddenly veers off into having "advisors" as Christopher Hudson (the homophobic, anti-Obama, conspiracy theorist who interviewed Angus for his Forerunner Chronicles web series) steering his interviews, and about whom the Seventh-Day Adventists say:
"We are unable to offer information because Forerunner Chronicles is not a ministry operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its host is not a pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church."

It's all the signs lining up for a bad ride. And yeah, Angus is on record saying he gets so much "information" from the Chronicles site.

If he had no idea what to do all that time, making all that money, like giving to charities and expanding his horizons, then really.... I don't know what he had anyway for brains.

Anonymous said...

Killed by friendly fire, during non-combat operations.

Tallulah Morehead said...

"I apologize if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed. I never intended that"

Who knew they'd take "TV is filth that rots your brain" all out-of-context and personally, and twist it around to make it all ugly?

You know what is filthy? Cults exploiting young, dumb guys with oodles of disposable income.

Mike said...

Two And A Half Men? Is that zombie still walking? Shoot it in the head.
Or better still: write the religious conversion into the script.

The kid soldier goes overseas, experiences unpleasantness first hand, sees the light, comes home and makes his "uncles'" lives a living hell with his new-found faith.
And then he turns the house into a refugee camp. For Arabs. (Which is a good thing, OK.)
Meanwhile, their Jewish neighbour is extending his house onto their garden... Hilarity ensues.

The sanctimony is in the phrase biting the hand that feeds him. He's made money for the Company, else they'd have sacked him. And he's entitled to his opinion (he's seemingly a Whistleblower of the Bleeding Obvious). Now contracts typically contain a clause about bringing the Company into disrepute...

Brian O. said...

Wouldn't the most professional route to have first expressed his feelings to Chuck Lorre? Again, I don't know if the testimonial was meant to go viral nor do I have the inclination to check. I'd like to think, maybe wishfully, Lorre & Co. would have at least respected Jones' beliefs and tactfully wrote him out if given the chance.

Anonymous said...

At times like this I remember a phrase often uttered around the rewrite table: Stupid, fucking actors.

vernonlee said...

The only part I'd change this is the religion Jones chose.

He really should've become an evangelical like Kirk Cameron instead of Seventh Day Adventist. They could write his conversion into the show and then think of the hordes of people who'd start tuning in to see the show -- the same crowd who tuned in to DTWS to see Bristol Palin shake a tail feather.

And imagine his post-sitcom Christian circuit possibilities. Sadly, Seventh Day Adventists don't rush to buy Veggie Tales or Left Behind DVDs.

A-Always B-Be C-Closing, Angus!

Josh said...

Might be a good excuse to end the series. The damn thing has more than run its course.

Johnny Walker said...

I don't care about his beliefs (pretty tired of anti-religious stuff now), but that was a really dumb thing to do. Any organisation that encouraged a member to do that really doesn't care about its people -- and also seems to display a worrying propensity for crazy.

Apparently he won't be fired (it would be a PR disaster if he was -- any disclaimers about it not being related to his religious beliefs would be saved to the last paragraph of the news articles, long after everyone had made up their minds) and, maybe I'm naive and idealistic, but I don't think he should be.

You don't need a mallet if you can do the same job with your thumb. The first thing I'd do is chat with the guy and see if things could be ironed out through discussion.

Of course, if an agreement couldn't be reached (no more videos!), then we'd make it clear we were letting him leave amicably. I think taking the high road is definitely the best thing here: He's young and he seems like a victim of a weird church, or at least his own inexperience.

I guess I am naive and idealistic, but I think everyone deserves a second chance.

Of course, this whole thing could turn out to be a PR stunt.

Tom Quigley said...

Perfect way to end the show at this point: Chuck Lorre wakes up and discovers the whole series was a strange, bizarre dream...

Sunshine Vitamin said...

With Suzanne Pleshette!!!

Ron said...

Ken If you know any writers on Vegas you might inform them "soldiers" are in the Army, not the "Air Force" In the Exposure episode on Tuesday they kept referring to "airmen" , still the preferred term today, as soldiers. I think a grunt like you as well as airmen would take offense.

Nat Gertler (Sitcom Room alum) said...

IS this a wise or appropriate thing that the young man said? No.

But is it actually damaging in any way? I doubt it. No one is going to stop watching 2.5Men over this. First of all, it's not like Angus has some established position as an opinion or taste leader. There aren't bevvies of folks eager to do whatever he says. And secondly: it's hard to imagine that there's anyone watching the show who hasn't already figured out that it's filth! Of course it's filth. It is at times entertaining filth.

So there's no real business imperative to let him go. BUT... it might be a good idea anyway. 2.5Men is a show that very easily starts coasting, and as we saw from the elimination of Lesser Sheen and his replacement with Ashton Kutcher, getting rid of a character and getting a new one can breathe some new life in. I'd love to be in on the discussion of who the new half-man would be (a love child for Kutcher's character? Vern Troyer as a man one of them runs over in a car accident and lives at the house in lieu of a lawsuit? Holland Taylor begins hormone therapy for a sex change?)

craig m said...

When Jones is given a risqué line -- or has to play off someone else's line -- will viewers be trying to get a read on whether it's eating him up inside? It's probably not what the producers want people to watching for, but, at this point in the show's life, they may just be happy people are watching at all.

Jerry Peters said...

Any thoughts on the passing of Larry Hagman?

Cap'n Bob said...

I said "bleed him try," when it should have been "bleed him dry." I don't get why someone who's 19 is considered a half man.

Matt Patton said...

Some years back, Chuck Lorre co-wrote a great episode of CSI that was basically a revenge fantasy about everything he wanted to do to Cybill Shepherd, Roseanne Barr, and Brett Butler after they had collectively driven him around the bend while working on their shows. They really should invite him back to do another, where he can devise grisly demises for Mssrs. Sheen and Jones.

Anonymous said...

It's always hilarious when someone tells the truth in this industry. Everybody goes bat shit. The show is foul, and has been since Sheen left. Every fan of the show I know has quit watching because they invariably say Kutcher makes their skin crawl and the show's writing is lazy and not funny. Just perverse for it's own sake.

But because the kid is being paid so much, he should lie, or keep his mouth shut, instead of saying what so many people are thinking.

Now he's an ingrate, a loose canon, and a religious freak.

Same old neurotic hollywood shit.

Congrats, kid. You're nineteen, grew up in the business, and you're still not a cynical shameless whore.

You should spend new year's eve at Dave Chappell's, and get the number for his accountant.

JonesTown said...

I know that Jews like to support each other and stick together, I'm fine with that.
I also know that Jews tend to worship money as well, but even so, your support of Lorre's camp in this case is a bit extreme, to be honest, the show is garbage.
Maybe he will look back and say that this was the best decision he ever made!

Johnny Walker said...

Holy shit. That's easily the most offensive comment I've ever read here. You may not agree with Ken's position that he should be fired (I'm not sure I do), but bringing Ken's ethnicity into the discussion, and tying it with stupid stereotypes, is inexcusable.

How would you like it if everything you said was put through a filter that devalued it?

Roger Owen Green said...

I must say:
he was a kid when he started, and he's still a young man. Who hasn't said regrettable things at 19.
And the show, even when I see bits in syndication, if not "filthy", is sordid.

Profesora Magda Alvarez said...

Why don't you make Jake become a religious person?

RC said...

@ JonesTown: Wow, some good old fashioned anti-semitism. After four years of racially tinged Obama bashing, that was a nice nostalgic walk down Bigot Lane.

Anonymous said...

"How would you like it if everything you said was put through a filter that devalued it?" Very good way of putting it Johnny. I too was surprised at the ignorant comment. Julie

A_Homer said...

I think what 2.5 men raises up as an issue by this point, isn't the implosion of some of its actors ( whether leading to tiger's blood or soldiers of God) but why don't people like to let go of sitcoms (and in this case, the non-Seinfeld, mediocre ones) that have run their course YEARS ago? Syndication has long since kicked in! It's everywhere, all the time.

I actually think one has to give Sheen some credit, he had the right presence for tv, conveys an affable character to watch go through the standard moves.

Angus just seems familiar, the casualty. There's no reason to say it's about religion just because a religious organisation is involved. He's 19, not seeming very enlightened, and when once he exuded a naturally sunny smile, he comes off in the video as trying to go for the creepy desperate intensity in place of religious convinction, so common in only certain kinds of indoctrinations.

iain said...

Gosh, Jones Town, I'm shocked, shocked that someone like you wouldn't use his/her real name. Coward.

As far as Angus, while I also wound never ever want to be held accountable for all the stupid stuff I did or said at 19...29...39...49 years old, his initial statement gave N-O indication that he wanted to leave or stop getting paid, he just wanted people to stop watching it. & his non-apology was so obviously written by his agent/lawyer, it actually is funny.

Charles H. Bryan said...

What I honestly love about stories like this is (a) it's much more interesting than anything that shows up in most shows' scripts, (b) no one is going to die from this -- instead, almost everyone involved walks away with millions of dollars in the bank, and (c) so many people get upset about it, take sides, and just start bashing away. It's a pure delight.

It's almost as good as sports radio.

Cathy said...

This whole thing has made me very curious about how contracts are handled in Hollywood as a child actor becomes an adult. Elsewhere on the web I see people saying that if he thinks the show is filth, he should leave. But obviously the reason he hasn't done that is because he's under contract. Either it has to run out or the show has to agree to let him out of it before he can leave, right?

Again I know nothing about child actor contracts, but I know adult actor contracts can obligate them to stay on a show for many years. If the same is true for child actors, it doesn't seem fair to me that mommy or daddy could sign something when a kid is nine that would force that kid to work until the kid's an adult. Shouldn't the kid get a chance to back out at some point? Especially since they were a minor and couldn't legally sign a contract.

Apparently there is a legal thing called "disaffirming" that allows a contract for a minor to be voided, only my Googling tells me that California law has a way around it - a studio can get the courts to review the contract when it is made and if they agree that it is a fair contract then the kid can't get out of it.

Does anyone know if this is right? Can child actor contracts force someone to keep working as an adult? Being forced to do a job that you don't like, that you can't quit and that someone else signed you up for when you were a kid sounds pretty crappy to me. If that is the case with Angus and he is still working under a contract that his parent(s) signed, I feel sorry for him.

Cathy said...

(Though not so sorry that I think it was a good idea for him to trash the show.)

cadavra said...

They recast the daughter on ROSEANNE--twice--and it didn't harm the show. Same this year with LAST MAN STANDING. So let Angus leave, find another teen actor who looks like him--and will work for a lot less--and have done with it.

There. Problem solved.

This message brought to you by a grown-up.

D. McEwan said...

I'm just glad that none of we gentiles worship money, nor can we be accused of "sticking together." So it's official: Jews suck; Christians rule!

And people wonder why I loathe all religion.

sharicepieces of thought said...

Angus made a sobering statement that television shows, although I love and respect them, are not actually important in the big picture of life (pun intended). He isn't only critiquing the show, which I've never seen so I'm unbiased about his claim that it is "filth", he is critiquing "the entertainment industry" (apologies for that term sounding like a conspiracy theory in this context) and encouraging people to be aware of what they watch. In other words, being critical and using their brains. Therefore, I thought it was awesome.

However, it is selfish (and hypocritical) to call something "filth" that so many people have worked hard on and earn their livings by, especially if you yourself are the "star".

Ron said...

Ken, you might mention to Chuck Lorre or Angus T. Jones the the 1960s era green Class A uniform is no longer the Class A uniform, just look at the new blue Class A the Bradley Manning wears to court.! I can't believe 2 ½ Men can be wrong.

Wayne said...

Chuck Lorre has a new spinoff. Angus T. Jones is adopted by Kirk Cameron and Victoria Jackson. They call it TWO AND A HALF NUTS.

chuckcd said...

"It is better to remain silent and be thought the fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
-Oscar Wilde

Why don't we just call it "The Jon Cryer show"?