Tag Archives: Chuck Lorre

The 34th Tacky Taste Awards Top 10 Winners!

 Happy Thanksgiving to all, and a special thank-you to the readers who joined in with their votes and comments for our 34th Annual Tacky Taste Awards.  In a year when some of the biggest scandals in the news — from Penn State to politics — took place outside the Hollywood realm, there’s still a banquet of show business celebrity turkeys to chew on.  And heeeeere they are.

1.  Kim Kardashian & Family.  Riled up over Kim’s 72-day marriage to NBA player Kris Humphries, readers voted to bestow 1st Place, Tackiest Celebrities of the Year dishonors on the Kardashian clan.  Among the comments:

“KarTRA$Hian is KarKA$Hingin — the fake marriage down to the crappy clothes at Sears.” — Hannah L., New York, NY  

“She went from saying Kris was so nice and down to earth to saying he was only in it to climb the fame ladder practically overnight.  Of course people are suspicious. She made more than $17 million from the wedding.” — Pam R.,Canton, OH. 

“Kim Kardashian was made for your Tacky Taste Award.” — Nathan P., San Francisco, CA

Steve M. from Dallas, TX had a different take: “I think all the dimwits who watch the Kardashian family and then complain about them deserve a Tacky award.  Idiots, change the channel!”

2.  Chuck Lorre and Charlie Sheen  So many voters mentioned the “Two and a Half Men” creator and his former star together, it seemed appropriate to reunite them just this one last time in the annals of Tacky Taste.  For example: 

From Julia in AZ:  “Charlie Sheen’s year of tirades, drugs and hookers and Chuck Lorre’s repeated endcaps and on-air rebuttles have really done it for me.  I thought by now the banter would be over and bringing in Ashton would let the show stand on its own, but Chuck doesn’t seem to want to let go.  Week after week they have to rehash all of Charlie’s downfalls.  Come on, kill the show now if you are going to make it a year of Charlie-channeling.  Even Charlie seems to have learned to shut his mouth.” 

G.M. in Santa Monica, CA wrote, “Not that I’m buying Charlie Sheen’s good behavior act, but Chuck Lorre needs to get over being bitter and stop sniping at Charlie and try to improve the show, which sucks now.”  

In the opinion of witty Bernice R. of Naples, FL, “It has been a close race this year for the Tacky Taste Award.  Charlie Sheen was the star of the pack early on, but his admitting to his foolish rages took the edge off criticizing him.  Darn.  But then when all seemed lost, Kim Kardashian came along with her whirlwind romance, brain-free husband, check cashing acrobatics and surprise (not) divorce, and challenged Charlie for the lead.  I’ve got it!  How about a Tacky Couple Award? Theirs would be a match made in Hollywood heaven.  Oh, those two have got to meet, or what’s a Hollywood for?” 

3.  Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Grace H. of Burbank sums it up:  “Former governator Arnold Schwarzenneger makes Bill Clinton look like a cub scout.  First he let Maria find out the hard way that he sired a child by his housekeeper.  Then after they split up he went out in public sporting a T shirt that said, “I survived Maria 1977 – 2010.” 

And this comment from reader Linda D.:  “Arnold Schwarzenegger deserves the award for being unfaithful to his wife, family, and the state of California.  And then having the bad taste to wear an ‘I survived Maria’ t-shirt.” 

Agrees Paula G.: “It has to be the Arnold:  what he has done to Maria Shriver is so awful.  I used to like him, but now, I am not interested in seeing anything he does.  Thank goodness he’s no longer the Governor of California.” 

4.  Gerard Depardieu.  “Gerard Depardieu deserves your award, hands down, for urinating in the aisle of a plane after being told he had to wait until after takeoff to use the bathroom, causing a two-hour flight delay.  If one of us mere mortals did that, we’d be arrested.” — Ken, Tacoma, WA. 

Peggy S. of Los Angeles voted for Depardieu, adding, “I want to mention Anderson Cooper also.  It was one thing to get the giggles during his report about l’affaire Depardeiu — but then to have Depardieu on his talk show to discuss the incident, and hand out peepee bottles to everyone in the audience?  That was Tacky.  But I still love Anderson.”  

5.  Lindsay Lohan.  The troubled actress, who has been doing community service at the L.A. morgue as a result of violating her probation, drew tacky votes for “blowing chance after chance to straighten out,” as J.Y. of Bell, CA put it. 

“Lindsay Lohan gets my vote.  You know you’ve hit bottom when Heidi Fleiss gets on TV and congratulates you for posing for Playboy and says you’d make a great hooker.” — Tara K., Ohio

6.  Kate Gosselin.  “As always, the tackiest person in America is Kate Gosselin,” contends Dee W.  She explains: “From her trashy clothing to her constant bashing of the father of her children, she epitomizes the word tacky.  Her classifiying her ex as ‘mediocre’ because he prefers to work a regular job and live out of the spotlight was classic Kate.” 

“I would rather listen to nails on a chalkboard than that whiney b#@! any day.” — George F., Woodland Hills, CA

7.  Jesse James.  The reality show star got a late flurry of votes after his ex, Kat Von D, went public with her claim that he’d cheated on her with at least 19 women during their engagement.  “Wasn’t he supposed to have been treated for sex addiction after his cheating wrecked his marriage to Sandra Bullock?  Jesse, you tacky dog, you should demand your money back.” — L.Z.

8.  Courteney Cox and David Arquette.  “Their over-sharing about their sex life problems on Howard Stern’s show has tainted my feelings about them.   Really, Courteney, thought you had more class than to dispense such intimate details with gutter language.  Sad for Coco.” — Linda W., Peoria, IL

9.  Hank Williams, Jr., ESPN and “Fox and Friends.”  The singer’s remark, on “Fox and Friends,” making an analogy using President Obama and Hitler, got his iconic theme song cut from Monday Night Football after 20 years — and both sides chimed in: 

`”Hank totally got the shaft.  If you read the transcript, he never said Obama was like Hitler.  His conservative politics is what really got him ousted from MNF.  And he’s right that ‘Fox and Friends’ set him up.” — Dan H. 

On the other hand, S.B. of Long Island, NY, wrote, “Who gives a damn what Hank Williams Jr. thinks?  He’s a right-wing crackpot with no talent.  Glad to see him go.” 

10.  Brad Pitt.  “Some people continue to add insult to dumping their spouses overboard.  Brad Pitt told Dotson Rader of Parade Magazine that his life was boring when he was married to Jennifer Aniston.  Quote, “I wasn’t living an interesting life, myself.  I think that my marriage [to Jennifer Aniston] had something to do with it.”  – Grace H., Burbank, CA

Charlie Sheen Wrongful Termination Suits No Open and Shut Matter

Charlie Sheen

Do you think that Charlie Sheen’s condition as he rants against Warner Bros. TV and producer Chuck Lorre over radio, TV and internet makes the $100 million wrongful termination lawsuits his attorneys have filed into a lost cause?  Think again.

Leading entertainment litigator Mitchell Langberg notes that there is more to Sheen’s case than is apparent at first blush.  “In my experience, the studios in these employment things are at least mostly wrong.  You have artists who are artists, and studios that are businesses.  When something happens to make it personal on the business side, then it devolves into all kinds of issues.”

Langberg’s firm, Brownstein/Hyatt/Farber/Schreck, has represented stars and companies through the years, so he’s well versed in both sides of cases involving high-profile entertainment firings.  The company represented Aaron Spelling back when Farrah Fawcett quit “Charlie’s Angels” — as well as Valerie Harper, back when she was fired from her own series.

” In this case, you have a studio that knew about it,” he says, referring to Sheen’s drug-fueled carousing.  “They even renegotiated with him after it was happening.   They can point to their morals clause or their felony clause, but it would appear that as long as the ratings were high and the money was rolling in, his behavior was acceptable to them.

Mitchell Langberg

“Now, it could be that it got so out of control it got to be a danger and was starting to effect the show,” continues Langberg.  “I’ve read the 11-page termination letter, where they talk about his missing his marks and leaning against things and such.  It could be that, or it could be that it got real personal.  The timing of when he was first suspended from the show was two days after Charlie made his first public comments against Chuck Lorre,” notes the attorney, referring to the “Two and a Half Men” creator/producer that Sheen termed “a clown” and “Chaim Levine.”

Langberg points out that reports of Sheen’s wild behavior are nothing new.  He’s “been on Howard Stern’s show and other shows making comments about prostitutes and drugs before now.  Did they weigh their morals clauses then?  What changed?  That is what the case is going to turn on  — whether or not they can prove that something different was effecting his peformance, or the safety of his performance happening.”

What happens if Charlie gets 5150’ed?  “If the family gets him committed, even temporarily, it will confirm what seems readily apparant to anybody who watches the internet or television.  And maybe it will make it more pursuasive for the studio,” Langberg observes.

“I remember sometime in the late ’90s, when Charlie first publicly had these  problems.  Martin made it ovious he would do whatever it took to save his son,” adds Langberg, referring to comments the elder Sheen made to  reporters as Charlie recovered from a 1998 drug overdose — “whatever he’s able to do.”

Chuck Lorre’s Had More Than His Share of Toxic Talents

Charlie Sheen

Why, Chuck Lorre, why? With Charlie Sheen’s series-ending public rant last week, Lorre has to have attained some sort of new Guinness world record for dealing with out-of-control, out-of-their-minds, self-destructive TV stars.

In case you missed it, Sheen referred to the “Two and a Half Men” creator as a “clown” whose “tin can” writing Sheen claimed to have been “effortlessly and magically converting…into pure gold” for nearly a decade.
Lorre’s used to unappreciative stars, to say the least. Consider: the esteemed writer/producer first whetted his sitcom chops working on “Roseanne” back in the early ’90s. Behind-the-scenes fights on that show became an everyday part of the job, as the star wrested more and more control out of creator Matt Williams’ hands and launched a frenzy of frequent firings. Before it was all over, tales of screaming tyrannical behavior emanated from the set regularly and Roseanne let it be known that she suffered from multiple personality disorder.

Roseanne

But that show was likely a better experience for Lorre than the first show he personally created – the 1993-1998 “Grace Under Fire,” starring Brett Butler. The comedian, once thought to be the female answer to Lenny Bruce, exhibited demonical diva ways including verbal abuse and sexual harassment, according to Lorre’s suit over profits from the sitcom. Her nastiness led staff, including writer Alan Ball, to talk about the show using terms such as “the gulag.” Lorre left.

Brett Butler

Butler confessed to painkiller addiction and the production became subject to her rehabs and relapses — but due to high ratings, the team carried on (sound familiar?) until at last ABC got fed up with Butler missing tapings and abruptly pulled the plug.

Then there was Cybill Shepherd, a decided improvement. Nevertheless, she was accused of megalomania during production of her “Cybill” show of 1995-1998. Whoever did what to whom, clearly, it wasn’t fun. Lorre was fired after five episodes despite creating the show. (A phalanx of other writers quit or were fired as well.)

First, though, Cybill had Lorre banned from the set, reportedly because she hated it when he and another producer, Jay Daniel, sat watching her performances on the monitor and critiquing them. Imagine producers doing such a thing!

Small wonder that in 2008, Lorre relished the assignment of cowriting a “CSI” episode entitled “Death of a Sitcom Diva.” As “CSI’s” Robert David Hall put it, “I think Chuck is working off his aggression in this script.”

By then, “Two and a Half Men” was already a long-standing hit, and it looked like taking a gamble on seemingly-reformed hellion Charlie Sheen was a good idea. Considering the show’s long running success, it still looks that way. But as every reader of pop psych tomes and women’s magazines knows, if you keep getting into the same kind of toxic relationships over and over again, you have to recognize that it’s your responsibility and make changes. Lorre’s apparently-harmonious “Big Bang Theory” and gratitude-infused “Mike and Molly” casts suggest he’s found the healthy truth: there are talented, funny, creative people out there who manage to do terrific work without all the pain and suffering.

Goodbye, Charlie Sheen. Ahh.