Hollywood has its share of actors who have regretted accepting roles that were embarrassing, but how bad do things have to get for a star to bad-mouth a project? What about an entire television series? We saw that happen yesterday when Two and a Half Men star Angus T. Jones closed one chapter in his life to start a new one. It seems that Jones has found God, which means he wants nothing to do with the “filth” that is the Chuck Lorre and Lee Aronsohn-created sitcom. Even though Jones became the highest paid child star in television several years ago, he wants to get out of his $350,000 an episode contract so he can “walk with God.” We share more about his kerfuffle with the series after the break, and feature other TV actors who bad-mouthed their own shows. Tell us what names you’d add to the list in the comments section.
Angus T. Jones, Two and a Half Men
“If you watch Two and a Half Men, please stop watching Two and a Half Men. I’m on Two and a Half Men, and I don’t want to be on it. Please stop watching it and filling your head with filth,” Jones told viewers during his testimonial for Forerunner Christian Church. The CBS sitcom star expressed his moral objections to the comedy, in which he plays slacker-turned-Army cadet, Jake Harper. Yes, it seems that Jones has pulled a Kirk Cameron by renouncing the series and preaching the dangers of TV. “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.” You can hear it from Jones himself in the above video. The bashing begins after the seven-minute mark.
Chevy Chase, Community
The Chevy Chase vs. Community drama has been well documented, and yesterday we wondered where the comedic vet and the beloved series would go from here. Before it was confirmed that Chase was leaving the show for good, the actor had been griping about Community for some time, calling his involvement “a big mistake” and stating that the show was “a f*cking mediocre sitcom” — a form of entertainment he considers to be the “lowest.” The dramatic outbursts on set with creator Dan Harmon, which also took place in a nasty voicemail exchange, left a dark cloud over the show. Reports indicate that Chase was uncomfortable with the direction his character was taking, leading him to finally call it quits. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve been making a lot of people laugh a lot better than this,” Chase recently insisted. Only time will tell if Chase can get his mojo back elsewhere, or if the Community drama will leave a nasty, lasting impression on his career.
Chace Crawford, Gossip Girl
Gossip Girl helped launch the career of Texas-born actor Chace Crawford, playing golden boy Nate Archibald, but the CW actor has bitten the hand that fed him. When talking about leaving the show, Crawford told Us Weekly, “I’m gonna look for my dignity. My dignity is somewhere on set. I think it happened around season two. Leading into season three, it was all out the window.” We’re guessing that starring in the awful What to Expect When You’re Expecting probably didn’t help his bitterness.
Eddie Murphy, Saturday Night Live
We’ve expressed why we’re done with Eddie Murphy, but his history of hating on Saturday Night Live — the show that made him a star — has to mentioned here. A Rolling Stone interview with the former SNL regular revealed his true feelings about the show:
“They were sh*tty to me on Saturday Night Live a couple of times after I’d left the show. They said some sh*tty things. There was that David Spade sketch [when Spade showed a picture of Murphy around the time of Vampire in Brooklyn and said, ‘Look, children, a falling star’]. I made a stink about it, it became part of the folklore. What really irritated me about it at the time was that it was a career shot.”
Since then, Murphy has avoided all reunions like the plague and even refused to chat with Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller for their book, Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live .
Robert Reed, The Brady Bunch
Robert Reed was The Brady Bunch’s father figure, but the former stage actor publicly despised the show and was notoriously difficult to work with because of it. An interview with People before his death confirmed his longtime hatred of the iconic sitcom. Reed felt the role was beneath him — he was a Shakespearean actor before achieving fame on the small screen — and often found himself at odds with the brand of comedy from the show’s creator and executive producer, Sherwood Schwartz. The cast was close to the actor, however, which is partly why he stayed on. Florence Henderson was one of several co-stars who became good friends with the prickly Reed.
Shannen Doherty, Charmed
Shannen Doherty has a reputation for being a real witch to work with, and she got to play one on Aaron Spelling’s Charmed. After her breakout role in Spelling’s Beverly Hills, 90210, Doherty struggled to find her place again, but finally had a hit when she became the eldest of three witchy sisters, Prue Halliwell. She abruptly left the show amid rumors about feuds on set and gruffly dismissed the series as “a show for 12-year-olds.”
Jackie Gleason, You’re In the Picture
Following his success on The Honeymooners, Jackie Gleason joined TV game show You’re in the Picture, hosting the celebrity-starring variety hour. After its debut was critically panned, Gleason began the next episode with a public apology. “There’s nothing here, except the orchestra and myself… We have a creed tonight, and the creed is honesty… Last week we did a show that laid the biggest bomb — it would make the H-bomb look like a two-inch salute,” he told audiences. The speech’s comedic slant allowed the show to continue, renamed as The Jackie Gleason Show, even though some of his comments pissed off sponsors.
Katherine Heigl, Grey’s Anatomy
Six years on Grey’s Anatomy seemed like more than enough for star Katherine Heigl who had struggled against her contract with the popular series for eons. Things came to a head for the actress during the 2008 Emmy Awards season when Heigl decided to drop out of the race, stating, “I do not feel I was given the material this season to warrant a nomination.” Prior to that, Heigl had dropped out of contract talks with the show. An inside source told People , “Katie is disappointed and hurt that (producer) Touchstone doesn’t value her as much as her other costars, especially Sandra Oh and Isaiah Washington.” The trash talking continued with David Letterman when Heigl complained about working 17-hour days, calling it “cruel and mean.” She changed her mind this January, when she expressed her desire to return to the series and praised her castmates. “It was a great work environment,” she admitted. She was most recently spotted hanging out with her former co-stars, so things couldn’t have been that bad.
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men
There must be something in the water on set (or it’s cursed), because Jones isn’t the only Two and a Half Men star to bad-mouth the series. After Sheen shut down production of the show during a rehab attempt, he began making derogatory comments about series creator Chuck Lorre (“a contaminated little maggot”) and the show. ” I’ve spent, I think, close to the last decade, I don’t know, effortlessly and magically converting your tin cans into pure gold. And the gratitude I get is this charlatan chose not to do his job, which is to write,” he ranted at one point. Things escalated into a major PR nightmare with Sheen getting fired and spiraling into a bizarre, public meltdown. He sued the show, later wished them well, and has since insulted and praised his replacement, Ashton Kutcher. “I’m tired of lying. I’m tired of pretending the show doesn’t suck. I’m tired of pretending Ashton doesn’t suck,” Sheen declared. He later apologized and told Kutcher he “[deserved] better,” but stood behind his feelings about the series.
Amy Jo Johnson, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
We know it’s hard to believe that the Pink Ranger didn’t love working on the 1990’s series, but Amy Jo Johnson has called the fan favorite — and her part as the gymnastically-inclined teen with super powers — embarrassing on multiple occasions. We guess her hatred of the show is justified since she was only paid six hundred dollars a week and had to put up with stalkery fans.