Thursday, March 10, 2011

An Angle On The Sheen Story I'm Comfortable With

I didn't want to go near this story when it was about an actor's meltdown. It's like someone asked me today, "did you see that video where Charlie Sheen...(whatever he did THIS time) and I said no, I don't watch Charlie Sheen videos. I let other people tell me about them. It's quicker. If I though Charlie Sheen was actually melting down, I'd just ignore him. But here's what I think Charlie Sheen IS doing.

In the first move of what could be a long legal battle, Charlie Sheen has sued Warner Bros. and "Two and a Half Men" co-creator Chuck Lorre for $100 million plus punitive damages over his termination on the hit television show.

Mr. Sheen's lawyer, Hollywood firebrand Marty Singer, filed the lawsuit on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

A spokesman for Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc., declined to comment.

In the suit, Mr. Sheen alleges that Mr. Lorre decided to fire the actor because he wanted to work on other television shows and before Mr. Sheen's public antics.

Citing his recent behavior, Warner Bros. on Monday terminated Mr. Sheen's contract, which according to people familiar with the matter pays him about $2 million an episode, including his share of "back-end" profit like syndication. But in the suit, Mr. Sheen also alleges that the studio's firing of the actor, even for those circumstances, would be in violation of California law.

The suit also states that Mr. Sheen is pursuing claims "for the benefit of the entire cast and crew to get paid for the balance of the season's 24 episodes."
Yes I know, suing a company for $100 million is entirely constistant with the insane behavior that Sheen has been exhibiting. But go with me on this. Say you're making a huge amount of money on a show, and you want out because you're tired of it, but the last time you tried to leave they just offered you a little more money? Why not burn your bridges this time and get a huge windfall besides?

I'm not saying Sheen isn't on drugs. Of course he is. But this whole public breakdown has the look of strategy in it to me. This is why I whenever I see Sheen (or have his antics described to me) I hear that Alec Baldwin line in my head. To recap, it's from Malice, in which Baldwin plays a surgeon on trial for malpractice and on the witness stand he says "You say I have a God complex? Let me tell you something. I am God." In the movie, the malpractice suit is part of a long con.

Same thing people! And duh - winning!

(h/t Hang A Lantern On It, where I posted this first)

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