McCarthy takes aim at dou­ble stan­dard

Sheen rev­e­la­tion shows rules dif­fer for men, women, for­mer co-star says

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - ARTS & LIFE - By Kelly Lawler

JENNY McCarthy is clar­i­fy­ing con­tro­ver­sial re­marks she made about Char­lie Sheen. On her Sir­ius XM ra­dio show Wed­nes­day, McCarthy ex­pressed con­cern over the fact Sheen did not dis­close he was HIV pos­i­tive when she played his love in­ter­est on Two and a Half Men.

“Play­ing even his love in­ter­est on the show, back in the day, I go, ‘Ick! That’s not fair. It’s scary.’ I have sym­pa­thy for him be­cause, you know, he’s sick and it’s aw­ful, but man, he’s go­ing to have to take some ma­jor ac­count­abil­ity with many peo­ple in his life,” she said.

“Be­fore we do a job, we have to sign a piece of pa­per that says, ‘Do you have cold sores?’ ” she con­tin­ued. “You would think that there would be some type of... I don’t want to say, not crim­i­nal is­sue, but I don’t even know how to feel about that. I’m like, ‘Wait a sec­ond. If I have to be up front about a herpe, how could you not be up front about HIV?’

“I look back and I’m like, ‘OK, that would have been some valu­able in­for­ma­tion.’ Look how many peo­ple have played his love in­ter­est on the show. Not that you can ob­vi­ously get it (HIV) through kiss­ing, but still, that’s a big deal.”

McCarthy, whose views about vac­cines and autism have made her a con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure when it comes to medicine, drew some back­lash for her re­marks, es­pe­cially be­cause HIV is not trans­mit­ted through kiss­ing.

She re­sponded Thurs­day on Twit­ter, say­ing her point was not that she thought she was at risk of in­fec­tion. Rather, she felt it high­lighted a dou­ble stan­dard in the film in­dus­try.

“I be­lieve that if an ac­tress has to dis­close all of her busi­ness be­fore kiss­ing a male co-star, that ac­tor should be re­quired to dis­close some­thing (as) ma­jor as an HIV di­ag­no­sis.”

Specif­i­cally, she won­dered why Sheen, “who in­ter­acts phys­i­cally with dozens of ac­tresses in in­ti­mate scenes is not re­quired to dis­close he has HIV?”

Sheen’s man­ager, Mark Burg, has coun­tered by say­ing the ac­tor was not HIV pos­i­tive when they worked to­gether (McCarthy was on eight episodes from 2007 to 2011). He told Peo­ple Sheen “was in­fected long af­ter he left Two and a Half Men (in 2011) and long af­ter he worked with Jenny.”

DEN­NIS VAN TINE/ABACA PRESS/TNS

Jenny McCarthy por­trayed a love in­ter­est of Char­lie Sheen’s char­ac­ter

on the CBS sit­com Two and a Half Men (be­low left).

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