Sitcom star decries his show as 'filth'
Teenage star Angus Jones, who plays Jake on Two and a Half Men, has joined a breakaway Christian church. In a video testimony he begs people to "please stop watching" his show.PT1M53S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2a549 620 349 November 27, 2012
They call it biting the hand which feeds you.
But until today, fans of the top-rating comedy Two and a Half Men may not have realised how well the show had fed its 19-year-old star, Angus T. Jones.
In a video interview recorded for a Christian church, which was released last week, Jones described the show as "filth" and urged people not to watch it.
Angus T. Jones, left, with Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer in a promotional image for Two and a Half Men.
Now the US website The Smoking Gun has published details of Jones's contract to star in the show, confirming he is paid an extraordinary $US300,000 ($287,660) per episode by Warner Brothers Television.
It's filthy work, if you can get it.
The contract also guaranteed Jones a minimum of 13 shows in the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 seasons. Subtotal: $US3.9 million per year.
Forthright: actor Angus T. Jones. Photo: Getty Images
On top of that, Jones was also given a $US500,000 bonus. Subtotal: $US8.3 million minimum, across the two years.
The icing on the cake is one quarter of one per cent of "modified adjusted gross receipts" - industry jargon for a slice of the revenue made by the domestic and international sales of a TV program.
It is difficult to calculate the total windfall that would deliver Jones, nor the millions more he has earned in the preceding seasons, but look at it this way: Two and a Half Men is Warner Bros Television's biggest earner, and easily the equal, in commercial terms, of past mega-hits such as ER and Friends.
For most of its shelf life, the Two and a Half Men has starred Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer as two brothers. Jones played the "half" - Cryer's character Alan's son, Jake. (Sheen left the series in 2011.)
And yet the most curious thing about Jones is that despite being in a top-rating international TV hit, prior to last week very few people knew who he was, at least by name, as Sheen and Cryer have always been the focus of the show's publicity.
It is safe to say that is no longer the case.
After describing the show which has lined his pockets with millions of dollars as "filth", Jones has now become a household name.
"I'm on Two and a Half Men and I don't want to be on it," he said. "Please stop watching it and filling your head with filth." [And his pockets, with money.]
Jones has also tried to staunch the fallout from the scandal by issuing an apology, in which he said he "never intended" to show "indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed".
But the apology has done little to dampen the impact of the scandal in Hollywood, nor to stop speculation that Jones will leave the series when its current season - the 10th - wraps production next year.
It is not clear whether making disparaging marks is a clear breach of his contract, however, there is no doubt Warner Bros Television will want to minimise the damage the show by closing the scandal as quickly as it can.
The show has already weathered one massive scandal: the departure of the show's star, Charlie Sheen, in 2011.
According to media reports, talks are underway between his representatives and the studio.
"Conversations are ongoing about his future role on the show," his publicist told The Hollywood Reporter this week.
Though where that leaves a show titled Two and a Half Men, which has lost "one" of the men already, and is sitting on the brink of losing the "half", is not exactly clear.
They could change the name to Last Man Standing, though even that path looks like it is closed to them: rival studio 20th Century Fox already owns the rights to that title.