Charlie Sheen is either the world's most dedicated method actor, or a severely troubled individual.
As Charlie Harper on Two and a Half Men, Sheen is a womanizing booze hound. It's a role the actor has trained for years to play, as he's been mixed up in multiple sex and alcohol scandals for over a decade.
With his personal life growing more sordid - Sheen was arrested in December 2009 for allegedly assaulting his then-wife; hospitalized in November following a drug-fueled, violent night; and spent this week partying with porn stars in Las Vegas, causing his reps to blame his late set arrival on an "ear infection" - many TV viewers have called on CBS to take action against the star.
That's clearly ridiculous, however.
Is Sheen's behavior embarrassing for the network? Only if that term is being used to qualify the riches he brings in.
Two and a Half Men is the highest-rated comedy on TV. By all accounts, Sheen never causes a problem on set. If it's possible to be a professional trainwreck, you're looking at someone who has pulled it off.
A majority of fans clearly don't care what Sheen does away from the set, probably because those actions aren't very different from what they'd imagine Charlie Harper's life to be like.
It's strange for fiction to collide with non-fiction in such a manner, but there's no other explanation for why the show's popularity has remained. Put it this way: if Matthew Morrison was ever caught with strippers and cocaine, the public wouldn't allow him to simply return to the set the next day, only asking for funny one-liners in return.
Just look at the outcry that surfaced when a few Glee stars posed in GQ.
Should a star's behavior off set ever be an issue for fans? That could be debated for hours. But one thing is clear: you can't complain about Sheen and tune in to CBS every Monday night at 9. Whether you like it or not, in an indirect manner, you're approving of his actions when you do so.