'Two and a Half Men' to Add a Lesbian Character. But Will The Role Only Further Stereotypes?
It seems like Two and a Half Men refuses to stop making headlines. First, Charlie Sheen famously went off the rails in a tiger blood-infused meltdown, and then young half man Angus T. Jones got axed after calling the show anti-Bible filth. And now, as the show is being renewed for its 11th season, there are reports that CBS will introduce a lesbian character to replace Jones: Jenny, the long-lost "beautiful and sexy" daughter of killed-off Charlie Sheen. OH, THE HUMANITY.
Last fall, when GLAAD released its annual "Who We Are on TV" report, it found that among the major networks, CBS had improved its representation of gay characters, but not much — only four of its 142 characters were homosexual. Numbers-wise, the inclusion of the new lesbian character on Two and a Half Men is a nod towards progress. But, so far, the character is being described as someone who "uses her hotness when she needs to." Hm, smells like trouble to me.
Sure, there is opportunity to delve into the potentially complicated relationship that Jenny has with her estranged and now dead (and deadbeat) dad Charlie Sheen, but, based on that description alone, it's likely that's not what we'll see come fall. Could the role simply be a cheap venue to fulfill male fantasies about lesbians and further the stereotypes of "hot" gay women? It certainly seems like a fraternity dream come to life.
With the demise of DOMA, Wednesday's positive ruling on the non-discrimination in the workplace act, and the rapidly changing attitudes towards gays and lesbians, it's easy to be overly optimistic and forget about the potential dangers of characters like Jenny. It will be interesting to see how CBS portrays her, but I'm extremely wary, especially as E! Online reports that she takes after her dad in so many ways, "including her love of women." Oy.