The president and CEO of CBS has addressed "Two and a Half Men" actor Angus T. Jones' recent negative comments about the network's hit sitcom, made in a videotaped religious testimony posted online last month, and also revealed the teen star's salary -- $300,000 an episode.
Jones, 19, has played Jake, the nephew of Sheen's character, on "Two and a Half Men" since he was a child. In a recently released video interview posted on a Christian website called the Forerunner Chronicles, run by a Seventh-day Adventist ministry, Jones is seen calling the long-running show "filth," and says that he doesn't want to be on it anymore, citing how he has become more religious.
After the video went viral, Jones, issued an apology, saying that he's grateful for his role on the series and adding that he has "the highest regard and respect for all of the wonderful people on 'Two and a Half Men,'" with whom he has worked with for more than 10 years.
Reps for CBS, which airs the show, and production company Warner Bros. Television had not commented about the controversy publicly until Tuesday, when CBS president Leslie Moonves talked about it at the 40th UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. According to the Hollywood Reporter, he jokingly called Jones "that kid on 'Two and a Half Men' who makes $300,000 per episode to talk bad about me."
Media outlets had previously estimated that his salary was $50,000 higher.
At a breakfast Q&A carried out by Wall Street Journal managing editor Gerard Baker earlier on Tuesday, Moonves said, after being asked if Jones' apology was enough to keep him on "Two and a Half Men": "I don't know what our status is with him."
"It seems to be what happens with child stars over time," he added, according to Forbes. "We took this boy who started with us when he was eight years old. Now's he's making over $300,000 per week, which is not a bad salary for a 19-year-old kid. By the way, he's still collecting his $300,000 per week."
E! Online recently quoted a source close to the matter as saying that it is "likely" that Jones' character, Jake, will "likely" choose to go away to college. The actor is likely to leave the series at the end of the current season but viewers might later "see him for a few guest spots," the source said.
CBS and Warner Bros. Television reps have not confirmed the report. Moonves said that the matter with Jones has not been resolved, but that "after going through what we went through with Charlie Sheen, it's been a piece of cake," according to Forbes.
Jones' comments were made 20 months after Sheen underwent a public meltdown, unleashed a series of on-air and online rants about the creator of "Two and a Half Men" and got fired from the popular series.
He made a TV comeback with his own series, "Anger Management," which premiered in June on the cable channel FX and was renewed for an additional 90 episodes after ratings exceeded expectations.
Sheen first weighed in on Jones' comments on November 27, saying in a statement obtained by OTRC.com: "With Angus' Hale-Bopp-like meltdown, it is radically clear to me that the show is cursed."
He later said that Jones was "welcome at the Goodson Anger Management home anytime," according to ABCNews.com.