On Friday night, Alec Baldwin posted an editorial on The Huffington Post offering Charlie Sheen unsolicited advice on how to come back from his epic meltdown. Since Alec was caught up in a scandal a few years ago after a voicemail surfaced of him calling his daughter a "rude, thoughtless little pig," it makes sense that he would reach out to Charlie. However, his tips make it sound like Charlie made a minor gaffe on a late night TV, rather than embarking on a manic, weeks-long tirade that raises serious questions about his mental health.
Alec starts out with a long anecdote which explains why he left the role of Jack Ryan after The Hunt For Red October. Basically, he claims studio executives pushed him out for another actor who would make them more money (Harrison Ford isn't mentioned by name). Obviously, things turned out okay for Alec, and he says the incident taught him some invaluable lessons on show business, which he'd like to share with Charlie:
You can't win. Really. You can't. When executives at studios and networks move up to the highest ranks, they are given a book. The book is called How to Handle Actors. And one principle held dear in that book is that no actor is greater than the show itself when the show is a hit. And, in that regard, they are often right. Add to that the fact that the actor who is torturing their diseased egos is a drug-addled, porn star-squiring, near-Joycean Internet ranter, and they really want you to go.
Granted, it didn't get real until you insulted them. And your suit may have real grounds.
But you know what you should do? Take a nap. Get a shower. Call Chuck. Go on Letterman and make an apology. Write a huge check to the B'Nai Brith. And then beg for your job back. Your fans demand it. You will never win because when you are as big a douchebag as some of these guys are, they have no choice but to snuff you. (Do you secretly want to get snuffed? So you can go back and make movies?)
Sober up, Charlie. And get back on TV, if it's not too late. This is America. You want to really piss off Chuck and Warner Brothers and CBS? Beg for America's forgiveness. They will give it to you. And then go back. You are a great television star. And you've got the gig. As I learned from closely observing Tony Bennett so I could impersonate him on SNL, this is supposed to be fun.
P.S.... buy Cryer a really nice car.
Alec says he regrets not sharing this insight with Conan O'Brien, and it may make sense for an actor dealing with a contract dispute. But, the solutions Alec suggests make it sound like he's been watching a totally different Charlie than the man we've all seen ramble incoherently in dozens of interviews and declare he's cured his well-documented addiction with his mind.
It's hard to see Charlie as the victim of incompetent TV executives after he calls Two and a Half Men executive producer Chuck Lorre:
"[a] contaminated little maggot can't handle my power and can't handle the truth. I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels especially if they wind up in my octagon. Clearly I have defeated this earthworm with my words - imagine what I would have done with my fire breathing fists. I urge all my beautiful and loyal fans who embraced this show for almost a decade to walk with me side-by-side as we march up the steps of justice to right this unconscionable wrong."
It's a little late for an apology. And while taking a nap and a shower probably wouldn't hurt, recent drug tests prove Charlie's sober, suggesting his problems go beyond drug addiction. (Not that truly sobering up is as easy as Alec makes it sound.)
The story of how Alec came back from the 2008 "little pig" meltdown, seems more relevant to Charlie's situation. Though, compared to Charlie's antics, Alec's nasty voicemail only inspired a fraction of the media shitstorm. In the ensuing months, Alec admitted he was wrong in several interviews, and later shifted the blame to his ex-wife Kim Basinger. In 2009, he told Playboy that after the incident, he'd contemplated suicide. "I spoke to a lot of professionals, who helped me," he said. "If I committed suicide, [Kim Basinger's side] would have considered that a victory. Destroying me was their avowed goal."
The public is definitely more interested in ostensibly hilarious "tiger blood" references and talking about how they're "#winning" on Facebook and Twitter than the seriousness of Charlie's situation. Plus, they're mostly unfazed by his history of violence toward women, so a few weeks ago he may have been able to blame his professional troubles on his custody dispute with Brooke Mueller. However, we're guessing that at this point, the usual disingenuous post-scandal apology tour won't get Charlie his job back (which is really the least of his troubles).
Two And A Half Men Is Better Than One [The Huffington Post]
Alec Baldwin Says He Considered Suicide Over "Rude Pig" Voicemail [TV Guide]