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Beijing op-ed: Why won't Martin Sheen apologise for Charlie's behaviour?

Beijing’s Global Times reckons Sheen’s public meltdown is a sign that the Eastern way of doing things is far more tasteful.
Mar 7th 2011, 1:43 PM 1,145 2

CHARLIE SHEEN may be one of the hottest celebrities on the planet at the moment – but most will agree that his current fame and notoriety has come for all the wrong reasons, on the back of a series of bizarre and oddball interviews following the cancellation of his Two and a Half Men sitcom.

Sheen’s descent from fame has filled many newspaper pages around the world in the last few weeks, but few critiques of his current lifestyle will have taken the same tack as this op-ed from the Global Times, a Beijing-based English language newspaper.

In it, writer Hao Leifeng discusses how a Chinese family would have stopped Sheen – real name Carlos Estevez – from such a public fall from grace.

The piece in full can be found on the Global Times’ website; some excerpts are quoted below.

With no firm hand to guide them, Western media has deliberately goaded [Sheen] into making increasingly delusional statements, more concerned about “winning” higher ratings than Sheen’s own sense of pride…

How many young people have been led astray by Sheen’s boasts about his substance abuse and freewheeling sex life? And that was when he was in character on national television, as a randy bachelor in Two and a Half Men.

Sheen attracted 1 million Twitter followers in just 24 hours, yet more evidence that microblogs spread the most unhealthy contagions in society like a disease. Chinese family, coworkers, or the authorities would have taken firm steps to make sure someone like Sheen did not make a public spectacle of himself.

His employers are unhappy that he was distracted with prostitutes and drugs, and didn’t show up to work on time. Why not take a tip from the Chinese business community, and make visits to a KTV [karaoke] parlor part of Sheen’s workday? And instead of epic parties at his home with porn stars, why not keep Sheen occupied with business banquets?

Sheen goes on television and boasts that he has two girlfriends, who both sleep in the same bedroom. Is he too poor to set up his wives and mistresses in different houses?

Sheen is like a typical Westerner throwing fuel on the fire with each interview and tweet.

Racism, spousal abuse, addiction, politics, mental illness, boasting about mistresses, – these are all subjects best dealt with behind closed doors.

As much as Sheen has lived a life most Chinese men can only fantasize about, our admiration of him can only go so far. He has not only lost face with his public rants, but also crossed a cultural barrier no Chinese can abide.

He ignored his own father’s advice to keep quiet, who was once the president of the US.

Martin Sheen should at once go on television and tearfully apologize on behalf of his son for his inability to keep up appearances and keep his mouth shut.

[H/T to Lorcan Roche-Kelly for spotting this.]

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Gavan Reilly


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