Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What Would Jed Do?

An op-ed in a Chinese paper chastises Charlie Sheen for his profligate ways, and demands that his father, Martin Sheen, apologize to the nation. That is a noble sentiment based on the Chinese tradition of filial piety, but the author seems to confuse television drama with celebrity reality.

As much as Sheen has lived a life most Chinese men can only fantasize about, our admiration of him can only go so far. He has not only lost face with his public rants, but also crossed a cultural barrier no Chinese can abide.

He ignored his own father’s advice to keep quiet, who was once the president of the US. Sheen is a disgrace, unfilial to his father and his fatherland. [Emphasis added.]

Martin Sheen, as fans of The West Wing will remind you, was the President of the United States for two terms … on TV.

My guess is that there was a translation issue. Still, it would have been nice if we’d had Jed Bartlet as president instead of the guy who was in office while the show was on the air.

HT to Bob Cesca.