Angus T. Jones has a curious way of demonstrating his deep Christian faith. Jones is shown in a new video denouncing the show “Two and a Half Men” as “filth” and a danger to Christian children and values. The problem is that Jones plays Jake Harper on the show and receives a reported $350,000 an episode. You may recall that Charlie Sheen was kicked off the show for making disparaging comments about the show and “dangerously self-destructive conduct.” While Sheen was not fired under a “morality clause,” such provisions are common in television contracts. Could denouncing the show as immoral violate the Morality Clause?
Jones’ comments came in a video for the Forerunner Christian Church. The 19-year-old actor told the faithful “I’m on ‘Two and a Half Men’ and I don’t want to be on it. If you watch ‘Two and a Half Men,’ please stop watching it and filling your head with filth. People say it’s just entertainment. 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.”
He then appears to struggle with the fact that he is producing the very “filth” that he is condemning: “If I am doing any harm, I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be contributing to the enemy’s plan … You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can’t. I’m not OK with what I’m learning, what the Bible says and being on that television show.”
His learning curve appears to include continuing to rack up almost $400,000 an episode for this “filth.”
Jones reportedly also warned against the onslaught on faith as an attendee of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Los Angeles:
“I have always gone to a Christian school since I was in kindergarten, but my faith was basically non-existent… School started to take a back seat more and more through high school. Two or three years ago my parents started have marital issues and started to go through the process of getting a divorce. At the time I also started dating this girl and when I look back now I see that as a time when the enemy was trying to push me in that direction, but God knew he was going to pull me out at the last second.” He did proclaim however that he was able to remain a virgin because “right then this cleansing phenomenon and presence came into me… I felt like I had just accepted God.” That again led him to denounce his own show: “My television show has nothing to do with God and doesn’t want anything to do with God, so it is a strange position I am put in.” It is probably doubtful that Chuck Lorre would go for “Two and a Half Men and God” in the coming season.
Jones insists that he is required to continue to make unGodly filth: “I am under contract for another year so it is not too much of a decision on my part. I know God has me there for a reason for another year.” The reason appears to be a filth peddler.
It will be interesting to see how Lorre approaches these comments after the Sheen controversy. I have never seen the show and do not watch prime time television. I am perfectly willing to believe that it is a sleaze fest. Jones was attending religious schools (according to some interviews) when he signed the contract. It is not clear if he thought the show was a PBS production, but it clearly did not bother him at that time.
However, assuming that Jones found God after signing the contract, I would be interested if his lawyers have made an overture to the producers to seek an early departure from the contract. It would seem unimaginable for Jones to continue to accept the money for producing filth that destroys the souls of unwitting children. It would be reminiscent of the famous Churchillian story about “price.” According to legend, Winston Churchill once asked a socialite if she would sleep with him for 1 million pounds. When she admitted that she would, he offered one pound. “Winston! What sort of woman do you think I am?,” the woman objected. He responded, “We have already established what you are, now we are just haggling over price.”
The most interesting question is whether Lorre could fire Jones under a morality clause and other provision. The comments of Jones not only actively discourage viewers but could discourage advertisers in supporting what one of the actors calls unadulterated filth.
If he has the same contract as Sheen, the studio asserted a general basis for termination based on failure to perform his required duties and a provision that allows termination for an act “which constitutes a felony offense involving moral turpitude under federal, state, or local laws, or in indicted or convicted of any such offense.” That would not fit an act denouncing moral turpitude, presumably. Moreover, actors should be allowed to have and espouse faith. What makes this more interesting is that the espousal of faith was the act of denouncing the show as evil.
The specific grounds might not matter. Presumably, Jones would not contest a termination since he has said that he is miserable in his current role. If so, who would challenge? Of course, if they fired him for moral turpitude, it could lead to an interesting lawsuit where an actor who denounced the show as immoral would fight to continue to make the immoral show rather than be declared immoral.
This is why I watch football. It is easier to follow.