When I saw the headlines indicating that Two and a Half Men star Angus T. Jones, who plays the “half man” Jake, called his show “filth,” I chuckled. Then I wondered if he’d ever seen his show if it takes 10 seasons to reach that conclusion.
But as I read the story, I learned that Jones underwent a religious awakening to the Seventh-day Adventist movement and feels that his participation in the show is no longer consistent with his beliefs.
Okay, I’m a Christian, so maybe I’ll give this a second thought. Perhaps, if he’s had no sense of religion before, but now does, his newfound perspective could legitimately force him to examine where he is in life and what he’s doing to better himself, others and the world. As hard as it is for me to imagine not having a problem with some of the content over the years, I can at least appreciate that someone who’s never considered it before might, while looking for “wholesome” content, be shocked if they truly look at the show from that perspective for the first time.
As funny as it can be at times, wholesome it isn’t.
In a video on the website Forerunner Chronicles, Jones doesn’t merely stop at calling his show “filth.” He’s also urging fans of the show to stop watching the program and says he no longer wants to be on the show.
It’s a bold statement coming from a young man who reportedly has a net worth of $15 Million and earns an estimated $350,000 per episode.
Yes, you read that right: $350,000 per episode, not per season. If he appears in 20 episodes in a season, he earns $7 Million.
And even bolder if true: he reportedly was recorded making his remarks while sitting in his trailer on the Warner Brothers lot where the show is filmed!
To the notion that it’s “just entertainment,” he says in the video:
“Do some research on the effects of television and your brain, and I promise you, you’ll have a decision to make when it comes to television, especially with what you watch on television. It’s bad news.”
He sounds sincere enough, and far be it from me to not give him the benefit of the doubt. However, the reality of the situation is that until he’s no longer under contract to the show, he has a commitment to the show. Taking a moral stand when a legal contract is in place, while it may be admirable, could subject him to civil penalties. If he’s willing to accept those consequences for speaking out, then more power to him.
Producers, so far, have remained silent on Jones’s remarks.
Beyond that, no matter how Jones’ future with Two and a Half Men plays out, I’ll be curious to see what kind of projects he wants to be part of in the future. One of the biggest challenges associated with taking a stand — which, I’m guessing is enough to keep most people from ever taking a stand — is that you have to put your money, your ambition and your time where your mouth is.
If he’s serious about trying to get out of the show because he feels it no longer matches his beliefs, then I hope he’s granted that request. And I’ll admire him for having the courage to follow his heart. But once you decide to take that path and then go public about it, especially if you’re willing to badmouth the program that has earned you your fortune and keeps others employed as well, it’s not unreasonable to expect a little more scrutiny on your next projects.
I hope he’s able to find something that matches his beliefs. Or, even better, that he’s able to fund projects that he can get behind 100%.
If he continues to stand behind his convictions and produce work that is in line with his newfound beliefs, maybe he’ll turn out things that will brighten people’s lives, even if they don’t necessarily agree with everything he believes. Improving the lives of those around you is certainly a noble goal; let’s hope he can make that happen.