Days after “Two and a Half Men” star Angus T. Jones was seen proclaiming his Christian faith and calling his own situation comedy “filth” in a viral video, supporters of the 19-year-old actor are calling for an end to speculation that he might have been brainwashed by a religious cult.
Jay Evensen, a writer for Salt Lake City’s Deseret News, called Jones’ rant “the sanest thing I’ve heard from a prime-time actor in a long time.” Evensen derided what he called “Hollywood’s analysis” of Jones as the victim of insidious brainwashing, saying “Jones was right” and “Two and a Half Men” is, in fact, filth.
The video in question featured Jones with Christopher Hudson, the controversial Seventh-Day Adventist preacher known for promoting outlandish conspiracy theories, as noted by the Hollywood Reporter. Via his Forerunner Chronicles YouTube account, Hudson has released videos claming that the killing of Osama bin Laden was a hoax and that masturbation is an unnatural act. He has also warned that God will be forced to destroy the world should governments continue to pass laws permitting gay marriage.
For Evensen and Jones’ other supporters, however, such views do not necessarily signal a warning sign that the young actor might have fallen in with the wrong crowd. Evensen simply refers to Hudson’s Forerunner Chronicles as “the church Jones has chosen to attend.”
Jones’ supporters also include the Parents Television Council, the conservative media watchdog that has long castigated Hollywood for TV programming that contains sexual content, as reported by E Online. This week, Tim Winter, the group’s president, put out a statement praising Jones as a breath of fresh air. “If indeed Angus T. Jones meant what he purportedly said, and that this is not just a publicity stunt by a production team desperate to prevent any further erosion of its audience; then his comments are welcomed, and we urge viewers to heed his call,” Winter said.
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In the now-infamous video, Jones urges fans to stop watching his top-rated sitcom. “Do some research on the effects of television and your brain, and I promise you, you’ll have a decision to make when it comes to television, especially with what you watch,” he said.
The video has since been spoofed by actors such as Rainn Wilson of “The Office” and Matthew Perry of “Go On,” both of whom posted their own videos urging fans not to watch their shows. “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg did the same on Wednesday’s program.
Meanwhile, fans of the show are not exactly heeding Jones’s warning. Amid the controversy, the show drew 13.8 million viewers on Thursday, tying a season high set two weeks ago, E Online reported. The ratings success echoes a similar bump after former star Charlie Sheen exited the show amid a high-profile scuffle with creator Chuck Lorre. The character played by Sheen was killed off and replaced by one played by Ashton Kutcher.
Jones is not expected to appear on the program again until next year.