The following is a transcript of Alan Stock, host of Las Vegas, Newsradio 840 KXNT, interviewing Celebrity Life Coach and Human Behavior Expert, Patrick Wanis Ph.D. about actor Charlie Sheen who according to a police report threatened his wife, saying “I’ll kill you.”
According to the police report, Brooke Mueller says her husband Charlie Sheen sat on her, strangled her, and held a knife to her throat on Christmas day. Charlie Sheen was arrested on Christmas Day after Brooke Mueller, his third wife, told police he had pulled a knife on her and threatened to have her killed; Sheen pleaded guilty to misdemeanor third degree assault and could have gotten 3 years in jail but a judge sentenced Sheen to a 30-day jail term, and was ordered to undergo 36 hours of counseling on domestic violence. Sheen will receive credit for time already spent in rehab and so he avoids any jail time.
Alan Stock: Hello, Dr. Wanis. Good to have you with us.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: Thank you.
Alan Stock: So people are saying weird things about Mel Gibson. Of course, he seems pretty weird if you want to know the truth. But they’re not saying enough about some of the other people. You’re concerned about that?
Dr. Patrick Wanis: Well, what I’m concerned about is the example of Charlie Sheen. Now, Charlie Sheen pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife. He actually did a plea deal so that they would drop some of the other more serious charges. Not only that, but it’s even being reported today on FoxNews.com and also on RadarOnline that Charlie Sheen’s wife, Brook Mueller, told officers that she was terrified because she claimed that Charlie Sheen threatened her on Christmas day saying, “I’ll kill you. Your mother’s money means nothing. I have ex-police I can hire who know how to get the job done and they won’t leave any trace.” Now, this is a guy that’s pleaded guilty. The judge only gave him 30 days – and as a result of going to rehab, he’s not even going to go to jail. But no one is complaining about this.
Alan Stock: Well, she’s trying to get back with him though.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: Well, regardless of whether she’s making the mistake of getting back together with him, here is a guy that actually put a knife to her throat for 20 minutes.
Alan Stock: All right. Well, hold on. Stay with me, would you please?
Dr. Patrick Wanis: Sure.
Alan Stock: 4:11 on Newsradio KXNT. Good afternoon to you. Dr. Patrick Wanis is joining us. He’s a behavioral expert.
Dr. Wanis thanks so much for joining us. I do appreciate it. What I want to find out from you though is — we’re talking about people coming down on Mel Gibson but why they’re not coming down heavier on Charlie Sheen. And I don’t think that they shouldn’t come down on Charlie Sheen. I mean the guy has got a lot of problems. But here’s the deal. The deal is that it does make a difference, the fact that Charlie Sheen’s wife wants to go back with him. It does make a deal, I think, that Mel Gibson’s girlfriend wouldn’t even think of going back with him. I figured it does make a deal that Mel Gibson was arrested for drunk driving by the police in Malibu and spouted off all kinds of anti-semitic remarks and it does make a deal that with his girlfriend he repeated his bigoted racist behavior by threatening her and hoping that she was raped by a band of — and he went on to use the “N” word.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: And what I wanted to do, Alan, with all due respect is challenge you on that because you’re saying that it’s okay, that we can give a free pass to Charlie Sheen because his wife says, “I’m going back to him.” The problem with that, Alan, is that most women who are battered go back to the man that battered them. That’s what we call Battered Woman Syndrome, that’s women who tend to think it’s okay for a man to abuse them. So let me ask you this, if Oksana said, “Oh, I’m going to go back to Mel Gibson. I’m going to forgive him,” does that mean we should then say, “It’s okay, Mel, everything you did is no worries anymore”?
Alan Stock: Well I want you to understand where I’m coming from. I think that Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson are both pieces of crap, I mean — period. I mean that’s just how it is. They both are. I mean — and there’s one not better than the other or worse than the other. I mean Charlie Sheen threatens to kill his wife and Mel Gibson acts like a two bit bigot and does what he does. Why would one be better or worse than the other? I agree with you. We should be condemning them both.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: My point is to say that here we are: we jump all over Mel Gibson and I think primarily for two reasons. First: because he’s already made those racist remarks in the past and so we’ve already built up resentment against him. And then second: because we got to hear those tapes played over and over again. So let me ask you this, Alan. Do you think that you and I and everyone listening would have a different opinion if we happened to hear the recording of Charlie Sheen threatening his wife and saying, “I’m going to kill you” and who knows what else he must have said to her when he held a knife against her throat for 20 minutes.
Alan Stock: I absolutely agree with you, totally. I think that if we had an audio recording of him doing that I think that people would be just as incensed. But what happens is people hear these things like they hear with Mel Gibson and they become angry at that and they tend to allow things like Charlie Sheen to be able to melt into the background. And I agree with you; they should not allow it to be melted into background. Again, I mean Charlie Sheen is just as big of a punk as Mel Gibson is. I agree with you.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: Well, here’s my other concern that, I think, that as a result of what’s happened with Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen, instead of everyone talking more about domestic violence, they’re actually talking less and here’s why.
Alan Stock: Why?
Dr. Patrick Wanis: The Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gets up at a press conference and he begins to make a joke about it. He says, “Oh, you know, they’ve been able to contain the oil leak in the gulf, but they can’t contain Mel Gibson’s mouth.” And then he says, “Oh, everyone, you better watch your cell phones ’cause that might be Mel Gibson calling.” And he says this with a smile on his face; he’s making fun of it and instead of taking it as something that’s a very serious issue, which is domestic violence.
Now, here’s another point. Kathleen Krenek is the executive director of Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence. She wrote an article for the newspaper Mercury News, and the headline is “Reports of Mel Gibson Tapes Offer Lessons in Domestic Violence.” And incidentally this is today’s newspaper [correction: article was posted online 2 days earlier - August 6, 2010.] But no way did she mention Charlie Sheen. She talks about Mel Gibson. She talks about the allegations and he hasn’t yet been charged. Yet the man that has been charged, the man that’s pled guilty, the man that admitted to assaulting his wife, she says nothing. Why?
And that’s the question I’m posing. I think the problem here, Alan, is that we’re giving people free pass because we are bias, because we also have too much prejudice. You know, bias and prejudice isn’t always this negative, it can also be positive in the sense of favoritism, you know. ‘You’re my friend so I’ll sort of ignore what you’ve done wrong.’
Alan Stock: Well, I don’t disagree with you on some level. I really don’t. The thing with Mel Gibson is that his comments were put over and over in front page of regular daily newspapers. So I mean I understand that that’s part of the reason we’re giving a lot more attention to it. But again, I’m going to agree with you. I don’t think one is worse than the other or one is better than the other. I think they’re both pieces of crap. In my opinion, they both are. And you know, I’m going to stand by that.
Stay with me. I want to talk to you about Hollywood though, and where are they going with a brand new concept show which I find to be repugnant. I want to see what you think about it, okay?
Dr. Patrick Wanis: I’m here.
Alan Stock: All right. we’re talking right now with Dr. Patrick Wanis on Newsradio KXNT. He is a Behavioral Expert and a Celebrity Life Coach. It’s good to have you with us.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: Thank you, Alan.
Alan Stock: All right. I want to talk to you about something else also that caught my eye and I had to run this by you. You know, I think what’s going on with Hollywood is weird in general and what’s going on in “Reality TV” is very, very strange. They are now — Investigation Discovery has announced a development deal with Mark Burnett. You know, he’s the one who did Survivor, right?
Dr. Patrick Wanis: Yeah, he’s one of the biggest reality producers.
Alan Stock: Exactly.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: If not the biggest.
Alan Stock: The biggest, without a doubt. But they have announced the development deal with Mark Burnett to produce a talent-based competition with prisoners in the vein of American Idol, potentially entitled “Talent Behind Bars.” And they’re also — they’re saying that the essence of the show is to highlight people who have been convicted of non-violent crimes and misdemeanors. Maybe there’s somebody in the part of the country, that never had at a real chance to have a proper education and they have talent. They also want to develop a second show — and I’m not making this up, by the way – I think you might think so but I’m not. The second show they want to develop is called “Dancing Behind Bars.” It’s like ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: Okay. Hold on, Alan. This is a joke, right?
Alan Stock: No, I swear — I know — see, I knew you would think so.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: [Laughter] I mean, come on.
Alan Stock: I wish it was and I wish I could say “April Fools” but it’s not –
Dr. Patrick Wanis: Dancing Behind Bars?
Alan Stock: Yes, sir. I swear to you. I’m looking right at the release right here. I kid you not. I just got this hot off the press today. I’m not making this up.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: Well, let me ask you this, have they said which network is going to pick it up? Which network is going to air it?
Alan Stock: They have not said that yet. The Broadcast & Cable Company has come out with the information on this and it’s under the heading of this Prison Idol, Talent Behind Bars and the second show they would develop would be this Dancing Behind Bars. But even such Talent Behind Bars, going behind bars, featuring prisoners in a setting that we’re going to be sympathetic with these people – it wants to make me heave.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: Well, here’s the primary concern with that: the whole idea of putting someone in jail, putting someone in prison is to rehabilitate, punish, and prevent crime. So I don’t see how you rehabilitate them when you’re suddenly saying, “Hey, let’s teach you how to dance. Let’s do some choreography. Let’s see how you can sing. Let’s give you private singing lessons,” number one.
Number two: you’re hardly punishing them when you’re saying, “You’re going to have a chance to be on television and when you get out of jail, well then you’ll get a record deal.”
And then the third is: it hardly prevents someone from committing a crime when you’re saying, “Look, even if you go to jail, you could still become a reality TV star in America.” You know, the problem here is the same problem we had when we talked earlier about Charlie Sheen.
Alan Stock: You’re right.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: That there are always people don’t care about morality and will do anything for money.
Alan Stock: For greed.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: Yeah, for greed, to the extent that the people say, “You know what, we don’t care that Charlie Sheen beat up his wife. We don’t care that he put a knife to her throat. We’re still going to pay him $1.7 million an episode because we’re making so much money off him and because we have advertisers.” Now the same thing applies to what you’re just talking about, Alan – Mark Burnett on these two TV shows. The idea is we don’t care about morality. What we care about is: can we sell it? Can we make money? Can we get advertising? And it just comes down to the bottom line and that’s how we begin to completely destroy society.
Alan Stock: I agree with you. Dr. Patrick Wanis is with us. So listen, if they want to do the consistent thing, you and I agree, cancel Charlie Sheen’s show or at least throw his butt off the show because he’s not worth it.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: I would love to see someone who has the, you know, the balls, if we can use that expression, to actually do that. Where are all the groups that represent women and domestic violence survivors? Where are these groups? Why aren’t they screaming out? Why aren’t they saying, “This is wrong”? And let me just finish by saying this too, that, really, Alan, I think the most significant and critical point is that the incidents of Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen, instead of highlighting this issue of domestic violence, are just serving to diminish and undermine our attention to the gravity of domestic violence which not only affects women, Alan, but also children: 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner and half of those perpetrators also abuse children in the household. This is a really serious issue. This isn’t something for Governor Schwarzenegger to joke about.
Alan Stock: I agree.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: It’s not something for late night TV fodder. It’s something that’s a really serious issue. And yet I don’t see any groups talking about it. Where are they? And who is saying to the advertisers and to the producers of Two and a Half Men, “Hey, this has got to stop because you’re just promoting this guy. And you’re condoning domestic violence.”
Alan Stock: Dr. Patrick Wanis, you and I are more in agreement than you want to believe. I’m 100% with everything you just said. And I appreciate you having taken the time to join us this afternoon. I thank you and we’ll talk more in the days ahead.
Dr. Patrick Wanis: Thank you, Alan.