Warner Brothers Television has fired Charlie Sheen from their show Two and a Half Men following his public rants against the network and the show's creator, Chuck Lorre.
The dismissal could cost Sheen up to $1.5 - $2 million per episode, depending on syndication and repeat fees. If the network decides to cancel the whole show, it could miss out on $250 million in revenue.
The show, one of the most popular on TV in America, has already had the remainder of its eighth season cancelled by the network after the behaviour of its star got out of control. Sheen has repeatedly refused to go to rehab as requested by the network, claiming he has cured himself of his addictions through sheer will power.
Talking to the celebrity website TMZ of his dismissal, Sheen said "This is very good news". He added: "They continue to be in breach, like so many whales."
Warner Brothers informed Sheen of their decision in an eleven-page letter sent to his representative. In it they chronicled his behaviour over the last few years and included many links to websites and blogs. In addition, they detailed his behaviour since he was suspended from the show in February 2011 after ranting on the Alex Jones Show, a radio show in the USA.
In the letter, Warner Brothers said Sheen has been "engaged in dangerously self-destructive conduct and appears to be very ill."
However, show insiders have said that Sheen's partying and various addictions have not impacted on his ability to do his job.
As Sheen's employment contract with the network does not contain a "morality" clause, the network cannot technically sack him for his behaviour. Therefore, they are preparing for a legal battle with Sheen, whose lawyer threatened legal action if the contract is not fulfilled.
It is unlikely Sheen's dismissal will dampen his current popularity; he has managed to acquire over two million followers on Twitter in only a few days.
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