Life Lessons

Charlie Sheen Is a Redemption in Process

Each of us is better than the worst thing we have ever done.

Sean Kernan
4 min readNov 29, 2020

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Author purchased rights via istock photos

The fall of 2010 was not a good time for the cast of Two and a Half Men.

Some days, filming went smoothly. Other days, the show’s star, Charlie Sheen, arrived late, disheveled, forgetting lines, smelling of alcohol.¹ He was pale and dangerously thin. During one scene, he asked directors if he could lean on the couch rather than walk around during his part. Making matters worse, all of the awkward starts, stops, and redos happened in front of a live audience.

The show’s meteoric ratings made the situation all the more unfortunate. Teams scrambled to prop Charlie up and get through each shoot. In January of 2011, production was halted after Charlie was hospitalized following a 36-hour cocaine-fueled bender. Things came to a head with Sheen’s termination in March of that year. His $1.8-million-per-episode job vanished in the turn of a page.

The downward spiral that followed was one of the most public meltdowns in modern history. But his last chapter is proving an ongoing process of redemption.

People love a trainwreck

It is, perhaps, a perverse commentary on all of us that we consumed so much of Charlie’s 2011 descent into drug-induced madness. We tweeted. We forwarded his videos to friends. We posted on Facebook and threw around his characteristic ‘winning’ phrases. In turn, he relished the attention and so his descent continued.

We forgot the deeper implications of what we were watching. Charlie was a troubled and very sick man. In his ongoing ramblings, which included numerous shots at his producers, he was permanently ruining his acting career. He was a machine of funny, bizarre, and ego-fueled quotes, all of which came at the cost of himself.

Charlie Sheen always had a “reputation” from his earliest years in Hollywood of being a bad boy. Many of us weren’t terribly surprised that he was erratic. But this was a new iteration, many shades darker.

He was bleeding money and getting sick

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Sean Kernan

Former financial analyst turned writer. Always on the hunt for a good story. That guy from Quora. Writing out of Tampa, Florida.