Which do you suppose is bigger news in Hollywood: the fact that Angus T. Jones, the youngest star of the CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men,” publicly declared the show “filth” or the fact that Jones spoke the truth?
Nineteen year old Jones has played the character of Jake on the CBS comedy for nine years. Now, as he embarks on a personal spiritual quest, Jones is urging viewers to boycott the show which he claims no longer fits with his moral values. According to Jones, the type of entertainment his producers and writers present to the public adversely affects the brain, and he says “there's no playing around when it comes to eternity.”
“You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that,” Jones commented. “I know I can't. I'm not okay with what I'm learning, what the Bible says, and being on that television show.”
As of this writing, CBS has not commented; however, the public, predictably critical, has plenty to say.
Christians applaud the actor's courage and agree viewers should change the channel and cease filling their minds with garbage. Others detect a bit of hypocrisy in Jones' position; thanks to “filth,” Jones, the highest paid child actor on television currently earning $350,000 per episode, is a rich man. If he is uncomfortable participating in a corrupt product, critics suggest he ease his conscience by returning his millions. So who is right here? Is Angus T. Jones a hero standing up against a morally declining society, or is he a hypocrite lining his pockets while straddling both sides of the fence?
He is neither. He's a naïve kid.
Angus Jones cannot be blamed for his nine years of “playing the half” in “Two and a Half Men.” As a child actor, he did what he was told. Clearly, his parents steered the ship. That it has run aground in murky waters is not Jones' fault. His spiritual journey is commendable; his public criticism of his craft is less so. He has overlooked a little matter of respect for his employers (though one could argue the creators of “Two and a Half Men”, hardly a respectful show, do not deserve consideration). Jones need not return salary earned prior to his self-proclaimed spiritual awakening, but what he does with earnings going forward will say a lot about his character. As the young actor fulfills contractual obligations, he would do well to donate his salary to charity; let him put his money where his mouth is. In a perfect world, Angus T. Jones could represent a higher standard for television and its viewers.
This, however, is not a perfect world, and Angus T. Jones is merely a young person publicly experiencing growing pains (spiritual or otherwise). The kid is guilty of nothing other than rashly speaking the truth. “Two and a Half Men” is a prime example of trash television that promotes an amoral lifestyle, debases women, and pollutes the mind. It's about time somebody in Hollywood admitted it. Too bad young Angus T. Jones probably killed his career in doing so. Experience (and his misguided parents) should have taught him Hollywood has little use for God or His followers.