An Open Letter to Charlie Sheen.
My name’s Michelle. I’d tell you a little more about myself, but considering you have no respect for women I’d really just be wasting my own time, so I won’t bother.
Let’s just get straight into it, shall we?
You’ve been all over the news lately. Images of your face have been splashed across my newsfeed, and your ‘tell all’ interview is televised on a loop. You’re everywhere. Stories announcing your HIV status have now transformed into stories about your courage.
People on my Facebook feed are praising you, saying how brave you are to tell the world about your condition, how great it is that you’re spreading HIV awareness.
But I don’t see you as a hero, not at all. You’re the villain of this story. And people portraying you as anything else is damaging.
Now I know that people will call me insensitive and cruel for saying that. They will tell me that I lack compassion for a man who is battling substance abuse, that I shouldn’t criticise someone who is fighting personal demons. But I want to be very clear: Raising awareness about HIV is great, and it is admirable. But you are neither of these things.
My sympathy would be wasted on you.
Because I cannot sympathise with a man who is too self-indulged to consider the lives of other people. I cannot sympathise with a man who allegedly did not tell his sexual partners about his HIV status. I cannot sympathise with a man who beats women. I cannot sympathise with a man who is a racist and a bigot.
We’re always told about what a party boy you are. The way the media talks about your indiscretions is almost affectionate, playful even. You snort coke, sleep with sex workers, and drink to excess. You’re wild, uninhibited, crazy. You trash hotel rooms on month-long benders. You go on incoherent rants and nonsensical diatribes. What we rarely hear about, though, is how you treat women. How you bash them, strangle them, brutalise them.
Everyone refers to you as a party boy, when really, you’re just an egotistical misogynist.
Not sure what I’m talking about, Charlie? Because I’m more than happy to take you on a trip down Memory Lane…
- 1990: Do you recall the time you “accidentally” shot your then fiance, Kelly Preston, in the wrist with a 0.22 handgun?
- 1994: Does punching an UCLA student in the face after she refused to have sex with you ring any bells?
- 1996: How about the time you bashed your girlfriend, Brittany Ashland? Remember how she wound up in the emergency room? Remember how she left with seven stitches in her lip?
- 2006: Or when your second wife, Denise Richards, took out a restraining order against you. Apparently, being the super respectful guy you are, you threw chairs at her and threatened to murder her. But you happen to be pretty good at acting, so we didn’t hear much about it…
- 2009: It was Christmas Day, and you were arrested on charges of second-degree assault after you held a knife to the throat of your third wife, Brooke Mueller.
- 2010: You threatened to murder a sex worker. Put your hands on her neck. Do you remember how she hid from you in the bathroom? Remember how she was too terrified to open the door?
- 2011: Your third ex-wife, Brooke Mueller, took a restraining order out against you, because you kept doing that whole ‘I’m going to kill you’ thing that you seem to be really good at, Charlie.
While I could go on, I know you’ll only insist that your violent past is all fabrication. One big, elaborate plan to bring you down.
“This is a most obvious immature and transparent smear campaign designed to hurt, embarrass and ultimately extort me.” – Charlie Sheen (2006)
All of these women’s stories are just concoctions, right? A bunch of scheming whores who are out to get your money, a slither of your fame. As you say, these women are ’emotionally stupid’. They’re hysterical, vapid, manipulative sluts, right? Because you’re faultless, and you haven’t done anything wrong. Impossible. No exceptions. You’re Charlie Sheen.
Now, of course, when you’re not downcasting women, you’re racially vilifying African Americans, or spurring anti-semitic sentiment. For example, you refuse to refer to Barack Obama by his name. Instead, you call him “Barry Satera Kenya”.
Do I sympathise for people with HIV? Of course I do. Do I hope that awareness about the disease increases? Of course I do. Would I wish HIV on my worst enemy? No.
But am I proud of you, Charlie Sheen? No. I’m not. Because in a world that is hurting, in a world that is suffering and pain-stricken, yours is not a name that should appear under the word ‘courageous’. You are not courageous. A man who bashes women, who is racist, and who refuses to accept blame or responsibility for his actions is not admirable, he is not someone who belongs to have his name in lights.
Do I consider you courageous, heroic or inspirational? No. Plain and simple. No. To me, Charlie Sheen is a racist woman-basher who just so happens to be HIV positive.
The people I do feel sympathy for are your children, the women you have beaten, the people you have racially vilified, and the people you apparently failed to disclose your HIV status to.
You’re not a hero, Charlie. You never have been.