By Matthew Rothschild on January 15, 2011

On Friday, CBS said it was standing by Charlie Sheen, convicted wife-beater. This decision, along with its ongoing heavy promotion of Sheen, sends a terrible message that men can still get away with it.

Sheen was convicted of assaulting his wife Brooke Mueller on Christmas Day, 2009. Mueller said he had pulled a knife on her and threatened to kill her. “I’m scared for my life,” she said in her 911 call.

But even after that incident, and even after former wife Denise Richards accused him of being abusive, CBS has kept pushing “Two and a Half Men,” its top comedy show.

Wife-beating is an epidemic in America. Husbands and boyfriends injure as many as two million women a year and kill 1,200 women a year, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

But for CBS, that’s immaterial.

In fact, the network seemed more concerned about his inebriated behavior and his own well-being than his wife-beating.

“We have a high level of concern,” said CBS entertainment chief Nina Tassler. “How could we not? On a basic human level, this man is a father. He has children. He has family.”

Tassler confirmed that CBS was going to keep Sheen on, who gets paid more than $1 million an episode.

“The show’s a hit,” she said.

So he can beat and threaten to kill his wife, but if he’s making profits for a giant corporation, all is forgiven.

A disgusting message to boys and men everywhere, one that serves as a frightening reminder to women that Hollywood and corporate America don’t care about you.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Shame on Sarah Palin."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter

Add new comment

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

More

Subscribe to The Progressive and Get A Free 2015 Calendar

Malala Yousafzai meets with the Obamas. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

When Yousafzai left the White House, she was whisked away to speak at the exclusive private school that the...

Mauldin cartoon from the Chicago Sun-Times depicts Fidel Castro musing to a portrait of Karl Marx, "I'll bet you never had to deal with Cubans."

From our 1963 archive, this piece explores the tension between the United States and Cuba after the Bay of Pigs...

Chris Christie excoriates a teacher in front of a crowd.

It’s become difficult for Christie to continue to blame his failures on teachers and their unions; and yet, like a...

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).


Public School Shakedown

Progressive Media Project

Newsletter