By Tara Overzat
I sincerely wish NBC had had more gumption and decided against interviewing Charlie Sheen, seemingly legitimizing ABC and CNN’s Piers Morgan to follow with their own interviews. I expect
that sort of behavior from smaller outlets (small or medium-sized radio shows, where Sheen first ranted for instance) but not from well-established networks. Now, the genie has been let out of the bottle and the best that could happen is that this morality help educate the public.
Firstly, Sheen is not a bad guy. He is in the grips of a terrible addiction and its consequences. He has been enabled by his considerable wealth and connections and, as Anna Holmes in her recent Op-Ed for the New York Times astutely points out, a society that does not care what happens to a certain class of women. Sheen knows who he can abuse – prostitutes, porn stars, and those who would not be “stars” without him.
Like Dennis Hopper*, Phil Spector, and Sean Connery before him, the public at large has a way of forgiving, or hell just ignoring, domestic abuse if the star is talented enough. I can’t help but wonder if this is because we do it in our own communities as well – certain respected politicians, clergy, businesspeople and others have committed crimes that were pooh-poohed by local folks for years, and some of these folks ill tell you that these respected leaders were never penalized for their crimes.
Watching Charlie Sheen’s treatment of women is eerily reminiscent of yet another troubled man who had the wealth and power to act without consequences – King Henry VIII of England. The famous monarch of six wives disposed of five of them in astounding fashion, including beheading two of them. It appears the crimes these wives committed largely consisted of difficulty in bearing him sons. To the fickle and ruthless king, this was clearly the fault of the ladies and he treated them as sub-human. The attitude seemed to be one of raising women up to a level of “importance” that they supposedly would not have attained any other way and then abusing them when they could no longer please the king. The only difference seems to be that none of Sheen’s women have been killed… though poor Kelly Preston (Sheen’s ex-fiance) came close when Sheen accidentally shot her in the arm in 1990.
To Sheen’s “goddesses”- no, to Natalie and Rachel, individuals with separate identities, not objects to be used and discarded, I say run. Run as fast as you can. Really, neither of you wants to end up like Anne Boleyn, do you?
*Before Hopper’s passing, I readily found information about alleged abuse of his first wife, Brooke Hayward. I am now having trouble finding it, though there is a brief mention of “drug-induced violence” leading to their divorce in the late 1960s here.
Other “Celebs” whose horrible behavior is somehow OK: