LOS ANGELES (AP) - Charlie Sheen was fired Monday from “Two and a Half Men” by Warner Bros. Television following the hard-living actor’s bouts of wild partying, repeated hospitalizations and a bitter media campaign against his studio bosses.
The action was taken after “careful consideration” and was effective immediately, the studio said in a statement. No decision has been made on the show’s future without its star, Warner spokesman Paul McGuire said.
Sheen, 45, who has used TV, radio and social media to create a big megaphone for himself, was not silent for long.
In a text to The Associated Press, he responded by referring to his bosses with the F-word and, “They lose,” followed by the word “Trolls.” Asked if he planned to sue, Sheen texted back, “Big.” As for his next move, Sheen texted, “A big one.”
A call to his attorney, Marty Singer, seeking comment was not immediately returned Monday. CBS declined to comment.
The firing capped a rare, raging public battle between a Hollywood star and those who employ him, with Sheen claiming the right to live as he pleased _ including the acknowledged use of illegal drugs, although he’s said he is currently clean _ as long as he showed up sober and ready to work.
“Two and a Half Men,” which debuted in 2003, stars Sheen as womanizing bachelor Charlie Harper, who creates an ad hoc family with his neurotic brother, the divorced Alan (Jon Cryer) and Alan’s son, Jake (Angus T. Jones).
The show was co-created by veteran producer Chuck Lorre, who contributes two other comedies to the top-rated CBS lineup, “The Big Bang Theory” and “Mike & Molly.” Like “Men,” both are produced with Warner.
Sheen focused many of his attacks on Lorre, and in the end the studio “went with the hit-maker,” said media industry analyst Shari Anne Brill.
Several news camera crews were camped out Monday across the street from Sheen’s gated neighborhood, Mulholland Estates, in hopes that he’d emerge to discuss his dismissal. A few news helicopters also surveyed the scene from above the Hollywood Hills.
Warner and CBS had long faced a balancing act with Sheen as he underwent rehab and two ugly splits from wives No. 2 (Denise Richards) and No. 3 (Brooke Mueller Sheen). On one side was the wayward star, on the other was TV’s most successful and highly lucrative sitcom, anchoring Monday for CBS and making hundreds of millions of dollars for Warner.
Last month, Warner canceled the remaining eight episodes of what was intended to be a 24-episode season of “Men,” citing Sheen’s public behavior and rants against Lorre.
In a series of interviews, including with ABC’s “Good Morning America” and NBC’s “Today” show, Sheen boasted about his “epic” partying, said he’s fueled by “violent hatred” of his bosses and claimed to have kicked drugs at home in his “Sober Valley Lodge.”
He glorified himself as a “rock star from Mars” with “fire breathing fists” and “Adonis DNA” and talked about his home life with two women he nicknamed his “goddesses.”
The actor, who was among TV’s highest-paid at a reported $1.8 million per episode for “Men,” brashly said at one point that he would ask for $3 million if he signed a new contract for future seasons.