The 911 call went out Jan. 27. Charlie Sheen was unconscious after another wild 36-hour bout with alcohol and drugs. People magazine reported paramedics found him unresponsive, drooling blood. He looked like death. He was rushed to the hospital, and there the family gathered, expecting the worst. Again, he survived.
Nobody seems able to stop this train. No one can force him to change. And CBS will stop at nothing in its willingness to dote on its superstar, offering no "judgmental" analysis of his behavior. In this business, profitability comes before respectability. Sheen, star of the filthy sitcom "Two and a Half Men," is the highest-paid actor in television (at $1.2 million per episode), and he can apparently do and say anything and be welcomed back to work. It's why Entertainment Weekly calls Sheen "TV's Most Valuable Disaster."
This latest health scare required a suspension of his top-rated show. Sheen agreed to rehab -- at home, where it meant nothing. Within two weeks, Sheen was calling into a radio show to insist he had to get back to work before he binged again: "It's like, I heal really quickly. But I unravel pretty quickly. So get me right now, guys," the obvious cocaine junkie said to CBS.
But that wasn't the scariest thing Sheen said. He also proclaimed if you can manage crack cocaine "socially," go for it: "I said stay off the crack, and I still think that's pretty good advice, unless you can manage it socially. If you can manage it socially, then go for it, but not a lot of people can, you know?"
That's some effective rehab, don't you think? Hours after the go-for-crack interview, CBS announced "Two and a Half Men" would be going back into production at the end of the month. To CBS and Warner Bros., which produces the show, Sheen is merely a cash cow to be milked.
James Hibberd at the Hollywood Reporter noticed that CBS has no record of expressing disapproval for Sheen's flood of excesses.
In the spring of 2006, Sheen's ex-wife, Denise Richards, filed court documents accusing Sheen of being an abusive, unstable porn and gambling addict. CBS offered no comment for two weeks and then gushed, "Charlie Sheen has been a true professional and a valued friend to CBS. We offer him our continued support during this very difficult time."