Entertainment

Don’t Cry for Charlie Sheen

Actor's appeal for sympathy is disingenuous

Americans are used to Hollywood narcissistic clowns.

Few have garnered less-deserving attention the past few years than Charlie Sheen, who has elevated the art of classlessness to new heights — or lows, depending on your perspective.

That Sheen has stepped out of the shadows by admitting he is infected with HIV should not garner anyone’s sympathy. While it’s unfortunate, and nobody deserves to be afflicted with any illness, the fact remains that Sheen brought it on himself, thanks to reckless disregard for himself and others.

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Sadly, Sheen seemed to make it his public mission to appear as a callous, mean-spirited playboy. Suddenly turning to the American people in search of sympathy seems disingenuous. One certainly hopes that he will change his life for the better and be true to suggestions of philanthropy — that he “will not shun away from responsibilities and opportunities that drive me to helping others.”

Sadly, Sheen seemed to make it his public mission to appear as a callous, mean-spirited playboy.

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Sometimes it takes a person hitting rock bottom to turn their life around and become a force for good in both one’s own life and their community.

charlie-sheen1Yet Sheen has also done a lot of damage to the HIV community. In his interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, he claimed he does not know how he contracted the virus, and that he did not engage in high-risk behaviors.

Let’s be honest, somewhere along the line, he engaged in high-risk behavior. One doesn’t contract HIV from a toilet seat.

If anything, Sheen should state exactly what behavior likely exposed him to the virus. That’s educational. From what we know, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that he engaged in high-risk behavior while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and has no memory of it. He should admit as much.

It wouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that he engaged in high-risk behavior while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and has no memory of it.

He also has nothing to lose at this point, from a public relations perspective. He says he came out now because he’d been extorted to the tune of $10 million and was tired of the rumors that he was deliberately spreading the disease. A crisis PR specialist should urge him to spill the beans on everything, and do it now. Then he must live up to the higher standard he is setting for himself, and not backslide.

This is not to say that Sheen cannot redeem himself personally and publicly. Everyone deserves a second chance. Sheen has a grand opportunity to become an example for all in that regard, to become a spokesman for HIV awareness, and most of all — to contribute to the community rather than detract from it.

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