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Why book Charlie Sheen?

March 21, 2011 - 03:00 PM
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Sheen trashes hotel rooms, lives (Photo: Associated Press)

Charlie Sheen is a recently unemployed sitcom actor with a history of substance abuse who has been accused of inflicting the following acts of violence against women in his life: a gunshot wound (1990); a blow to the head (1994); a throw to the floor (1996); death threats (2006); a knife to the throat (2009); a hotel-room rampage (2011); and a threatened beheading (2011). Following his termination from his $1.2 million-an-episode gig on CBS' Two and a Half Men, Sheen has capitalized off his public meltdown by launching a thousand Internet memes devoted to unhinged assertions of his own virility (get your "Tiger Blood" T-shirt for $19.95). 

Next month, Sheen will step up the monetization with a national tour entitled "My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not An Option." Throughout April, Sheen will perform at such prestigious venues as Radio City Music Hall, the Chicago Theatre, and D.C.'s DAR Constitution Hall. Tickets to the District stop, scheduled for April 19, are selling from $60 for tier level seating to $575 for a full "meet and greet" package.

Sheen's "fans" are enabling his addictions—and violent behavior—with every ticket sale and retweet. Why would a concert hall even agree to book this show?

"I don’t have any basis for denying any show," Constitution Hall Manager Paul Guilderson told me. Because DAR rents its hall publicly, Guilderson says that it is legally required to book all shows equally, regardless of content. The hall also takes a hands-off approach to promotions and ticket sales, which are handled by each event's promoter; shows aren't endorsed by the Daughters of the American Revolution, which owns the space.

There are two circumstances under which DAR would nix a show, Guilderson says: "If we expected there would be damage to the building, or injury to patrons." Marilyn Manson is one performer who has been barred from DAR under those rules, after reports arose of "behavior problems with him and with his group, and even with the crowd attending his concerts" several years ago. But that sort of call is a once-in-a-decade occurrence. By Guilderson's estimation, Sheen's violent torpedo is unlikely to result in either vandalism or injury. "His behavior does not come under that kind of heading," Guilderson says. "We don't expect that there's anything he could do that would cause a problem to the building or the patrons."

As recently as October, Sheen was hospitalized after allegedly endangering a woman and inflicting property damage in a naked, substance-fueled rampage at the Plaza Hotel. And Sheen's messaging—in which he positions himself as a modern culture warrior possessing of superhuman physical strength, mental acuity, and capacity for success—serves only to glamorize his possible mental illness, and his many run-ins with violence against women.

But Sheen's touring show—which has been described as "largely just him and a microphone and he's just going to talk"—meets DAR's specifications because it's unlikely to inspire a culture of violence inside the venue itself. Sheen's fans, at least, are expected to remain calm. "From all indications," Guilderson says, "the crowd won't be anything more than curious."

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  1. TJ TJ

    TJ T

    Mar 22, 2011 - 06:51:20 AM

    @Joseph, PHEW!  You just gave me a little hope that not every poster on TBD (Waxx, before you start throwing out insults, make sure you are spelling the subject of your insults correctly... basically, know what site you're on) is completely clueless.

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  2. Waxx Waxx

    Waxx Mann

    Mar 21, 2011 - 05:53:34 PM

    ill book Charlie sheen because i want to hear what he has to say..not everybody in the DC area is as judgmental and phony as most of its residents..you look at somebody before you look at yourself..you look at someones else life..and you dont even care what your family and friends are going through...your not their for them through what they even telll you about..you just play it off like your better..so look at yourself..and stop worrying about someone else because you have no life....that goes for most of you on TBM and the DC area..anywhere period...fakes..i cant stand fakes...atleast Charlie does his own thing and you watch him..i dont care what he does....talk about Lousy people really..yes you are lousy...

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    • TABD TABD

      Tab R

      Apr 20, 2011 - 07:58:59 PM

      Waxx. I agree with you. Charlie's honesty is what pisses people off the most. They bring up the drugs, the abuse of women, the mental health, the porn, etc... But they just can't stand an honest man having the spotlight. I support Charlie Sheen because he's a true revolutionary who fights oppression even when it costs him his job, income, custody of his kids, and reputation among 'decent people'.

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