Charlie Sheen Probably Isn’t An Anti-Semite

Man, it feels like every couple of months, some celebrity says something stupid and then he is accused of being an anti-Semite.

And I feel like every couple of months, I find myself defending (that might be a strong word) someone’s comments that were probably stupid and insensitive, but not actually anti-Semitic (Exhibit A: Rick Sanchez). Which brings us today to Charlie Sheen.

Charlie Sheen is everywhere this week. And you might be asking yourself why that is the case. You see, there are a lot of Hollywood celebs that are drug addicts. But how many of those addicts are the top paid actors on television with approximately 2 million to his name per episode of Two and a Half Men?

Before we get to the remarks in question, it should be noted that Sheen is, at the very least, incredibly eccentric, if not totally off his rocker. I just read this story that back in 1996, he wanted to catch a home run ball at a baseball game. So he bought out over 2000 seats in the outfield of an Angels game and sat by himself. In case you’re wondering, no balls were hit to his section.

But back to the Jewish thing. Last week, Sheen went on a rant about the producer of Two and a Half Men, Chuck Lorre. Throughout the whole thing, Sheen kept referring to Lorre as Chaim Levine. Now, to be fair, Chuck Lorre’s real name is Charles Levine and Chaim is his Hebrew name. But since he doesn’t go by it, groups like the ADL have called out Sheen for making anti-Semitic remarks.

Come on now. That’s just nuts. More than anything, I think Charlie was trying to embarrass Lorre by revealing that he uses a fake name (like anyone actually cares). But anti-Semitic? Kind of a stretch.

Now Sheen is hitting back. He has publicly asked the ADL for an apology. From JTA:

Singer’s (Sheen’s lawyer) letter points out that Lorre referred to himself by the name Chaim on a vanity card in February, in which he also reportedly writes about “a lifetime of distancing himself from Judaism.” The letter also says the ADL should denounce Lorre for acknowledging his “disdain for the Jewish religion.”

Now, I assume that the ADL isn’t going to apologize, but really, they have to start picking and choosing their battles better.

Here’s the rant (be careful of some language):


Discover More

Anti-Semitism of a Complex Kind

Ned Beauman is the author of Boxer,Beetle. It was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Desmond Elliott Prize ...

Settling a Debate in an NYC Cab

Earlier this week, June Hersh wrote about her perfect day, her Jewish culinary journey and unraveled the mystery of Jewish ...

The Greatest Jewish Basketball Team

Douglas Stark’s The SPHAS: The Life and Times of Basketball’s Greatest Jewish Team is now available. He will be blogging ...