In case you missed the drama in November 2012: Jones appeared in a YouTube video posted by Alabama-based church Forerunner Chronicles, where he implored viewers to not watch the show and to “stop filling your head with filth.” Jones, then 19 years old and one of the highest-paid teen actors in history, continued: “You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like [‘Two and a Half Men’]. I know I can’t,” he said. “I’m not okay with what I’m learning, what the Bible says, and being on that television show.”
Jones, who had just joined a Seventh-day Adventist church that year, later released an apology saying he was grateful for the opportunity to be on the series. At the time, he had been playing Jake Harper (Jon Cryer’s character’s son) since age nine, and by the end, reportedly made around $350,000 an episode. Post-YouTube incident, Jones was dropped as a series regular at the end of last season while he left to attend school.
Now, in Houston to speak at the World Harvest Outreach Church about his journey to find God, Jones sat down with the KHOU-TV station to discuss his mixed feelings about the show and why he wasn’t comfortable being involved. “It was making light of topics in our world that are really problems for a lot of people,” Jones said. “I was a paid hypocrite because I wasn’t okay with it, but I was still doing it.”
Jones also semi-apologized again for insulting his former boss’s (Lorre) TV show: “That’s his, like, his baby, and I just totally insulted his baby and to that degree I am apologetic,” Jones explained. “But otherwise I don’t regret saying what I said.”
You know what? That probably won’t thrill anyone at CBS — a network not unaccustomed to stars who dramatically leave that particular show. But in the end, it all worked out okay. Jones is spending time at church in Texas (he’s an Austin native) and going to college in Colorado. Over on “Two and a Half Men,” Amber Tamblyn replaced Jones’s character (she plays Charlie Harper’s illegitimate daughter) while the recently-renewed show’s ratings are still great in its 11th season.
In the TV world, that’s the best ending anyone could have hoped for.