Did Charlie Sheen Actually Make An Anti-Semitic Slur?
One of the most controversial points from yesterday’s Charlie Sheen radio rant comes when the actor refers to “Two and a Half Men” creator Chuck Lorre as “Chaim Levine.” Sheen’s peculiar use of that name, made in the midst of a longer screed against the man he calls a “turd,” has been interpreted by many observers as anti-Semitic, especially given his hateful tone and the implication that Lorre avoids his “real name.” It is worth pointing out, however, that Lorre (who was born Charles Levine), recently referred to himself as “Chaim,” too.
The February 7 episode of Lorre’s show “Mike & Molly” carried a Chuck Lorre Productions title card that the producer himself wrote while visiting Israel. Using the card to ponder his Jewish roots, Lorre reflects, “Why have I spent a lifetime moving away from that group? How did Chaim become Chuck? How did Levine become Lorre?” (Note: the Hebrew version of Charles is Chaim.)
So it’s very possible that Sheen’s allusion to “Chaim Levine” was, as he claims to TMZ, done to call out Lorre “the man, not the bulls**t TV persona.” Sheen himself was born Carlos Estevez, and it’s reasonable to say that someone referring to Sheen by that name isn’t necessarily denigrating his Latino heritage. Still, the use of Lorre’s Hebrew name in the context of Sheen’s diatribe raises eyebrows. What do you think?