I remember the words “Moral Turpitude” being used in the 1982 film “Porky’s.” Now, CBS and Warner Bros. are using moral turpitude as grounds to fire actor Charlie Sheen from their top rated television series “Two and a Half Men.”
The definition of moral turpitude is a phrase used in Criminal Law to describe conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals.
Crimes involving moral turpitude have an inherent quality of baseness, vileness, or depravity with respect to a person’s duty to another or to society in general. Examples include rape, forgery, robbery, and solicitation by prostitutes.
TMZ has the letter, which points in Sheen’s contract his bosses contend he has violated, backed up by quotes out of the actor’s mouth. For example, saying that he’d come back next season “but not with the turds they have in place” is cited as refusal to work under the terms of his current contract. His public celebration of cocaine use — “I was banging seven-gram rocks, and finishing them, because that’s how I roll” — is included in the section mentioning the legal concept of moral turpitude.
It is public knowledge that Sheen has been with many prostitutes and porn actresses, but nothing was mentioned about these extracurricular activities in the letter.
Only a week and a half ago, Sheen was fired for the remainder of the season, but as things stand, he is off the show permanently. From the posturing he has made since the announcement, it doesn’t seem to have phased or bothered him a bit. In fact, he seems to be relieved the whole ordeal is over.
Sheen told Access Hollywood on Monday, “It is the work of infants. It is the work of silly infants and it’s just — if this is what it had to come to, to get me out of those silly shirts, then so be it. So maybe I’ll wear one, just on the final day when I go and remove all of their bazillions.”
Sheen said he heard the news via “a text or something. … It’s just deplorable, and they should be ashamed of themselves!”
It’s unfortunate that Sheen’s rants have entered the public lexicon. One could ask, who should really be ashamed of themselves?