I’m a little befuddled by people’s hostility toward Angus T. Jones’s slamming of Two and a half Men. He says:
Please stop filling your head with filth. Please. People say it’s just entertainment. The fact that it’s entertainment. Do some research on the effects of television and your brain and I promise you you’ll have a decision to make when it comes to the television…It’s bad news. I don’t know if it means any more coming from me. But you might have heard it otherwise. But watch out…A lot of people don’t like to think how deceptive the enemy is. He’s been doing this a lot longer than any of us have been around…You cannot be a true, God-fearing person and be on a show like that.
And so what? Isn’t he right? The kinds of stuff you dump into your brain does have an effect on you. It’s not like watching movies where people shoot each other means that you’re going to run out and shoot people. It’s not a one-to-one correlation. But watching a ton of entertainment where women are reduced to sex toys or shrews or both does reinforce the idea that women are sex toys or shrews or both. And we do believe that there’s entertainment that’s not appropriate for children, right? People like ratings on movies and tv and video games for a reason. So we must believe that what we view has some impact. And he’s right that being on a show like that is pretty contrary to being a good Christian. So, what’s the problem? That he thinks the Devil is somehow involved? People, Two and a Half Men is a terrible show and you should not watch it! He isn’t wrong.
Is the problem that he’s been taking a paycheck from the show? He was eight when the show started–so not his choice to be on it. When the contract was signed making him the highest paid child star on television, he was seventeen. He wasn’t legally able to negotiate or sign that contract. But he’s responsible for “choosing” to be on the show? I call bullshit. Every contract he’s been under when it comes to that show has been made while he was a minor.
Plus, we don’t know what he does with his money. Maybe he does give it all to good causes. According to Wikipedia, he’s a do-gooder:
On June 7, 2008, Jones joined other stars including Dakota Fanning, Cuba Gooding Jr., Val Kilmer, and former Bringing Down the House co-star Kimberly J. Brown, in lending their support to the First Star Organization to help abused and neglected children.
In August 2008, Jones joined other stars such as Madeline Zima, Thom Barry, and Brandon Barash at the annual “Rock ‘N Roll Fantasy Camp.”
On October 4, 2008, Jones joined Miranda Cosgrove, Meaghan Jette Martin, Ray Liotta, Selena Gomez, and Shailene Woodley to attend the Variety’s Power of Youth benefit for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
In October 2009, Two and a Half Men co-star Jon Cryer presented Jones with the award for the Rising Star of 2009 at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Rising Star Gala.
Jones also supports the anti-bullying alliance co-founded by The Creative Coalition and WWE, B.A. Star whose mission is to ensure a positive and equitable social environment for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation through grassroots efforts beginning with education and awareness.
So, what’s the problem? That he said out loud what anyone with two eyes can see? That the show is terrible and that it’s a weird thing for kids to be watching, let alone participating in?
I’m with Alyssa Rosenberg on this, when she says
But I’d actually like to hear in more detail what Jones thinks about the show where he effectively grew up. How did Two and a Half Men affect Jones’ views of women? What did the show’s perspective teach him about what it means to be a good man, and a successful man, if the two ideas are different? When he interacts with fans of the show, do they seem to be taking away different messages than the ones he thought he grew up conveying? How does he feel about Jake, the character he’s playing, specifically? I’d imagine Jones’ critique of the show might skew more towards the show’s deviations from Biblically-ordained gender roles, where mine might focus on the show’s dismissive attitudes about women. And I’m more likely to blame the work of Man rather than the Adversary for creating those images and disseminating those attitudes. But I don’t think Jones is wrong to take culture, or his role in producing it, seriously.
I think it’s great that Jones has matured into the kind of young man who takes seriously what he’s doing and whether it’s good for him and for society at large. We could use more of that, I think. He may mellow some as he gets older, may rethink his stance. But I think it’s good for him as a person–and natural for someone of college age–that he’s wrestling with these things, even if it’s maybe not good for him as a working actor.