Angus T Jones, the 19-year-old actor who has starred in top-rating US sitcom Two and a Half Men since 2003, has apologised to his colleagues on the show after urging fans to stop watching.
On Monday, a YouTube interview with Jones, who receives a reported $350,000 per episode for starring in the comedy with Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher, featured an extraordinary denunciation of the programme.
"I'm on Two and a Half Men and I don't want to be on it,” Jones said in the interview, conducted by Alabama-based Seventh Day Adventist preacher and serial online conspiracy theorist Christopher Hudson. "If you watch Two and a Half Men, please stop watching it and filling your head with filth... 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... Let Christ work in your life."
Jones added: "If I am doing any harm, I don't want to be here. I don't want to be contributing to the enemy's plan... You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can't… I'm not OK with what I'm learning, what the Bible says and being on that television show."
Yesterday, a statement issued via Jones's publicist apologised for any upset caused by the remarks, without actually retracting any of them.
"I apologise if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed. I never intended that," the statement said.
It went on: "Chuck Lorre, Peter Roth and many others at Warner Bros and CBS are responsible for what has been one of the most significant experiences in my life to date. I thank them for the opportunity they have given and continue to give me and the help and guidance I have and expect to continue to receive from them.
"I also want all of the crew and cast on our show to know how much I personally care for them and appreciate their support, guidance and love over the years. I grew up around them and know that the time they spent with me was in many instances more than with their own families. I learned life lessons from so many of them and will never forget how much positive impact they have had on my life."
On Tuesday it had been understood that Jones had not been fired from Two and a Half Men, with showrunner Lorre and CBS executives considering their next move. They did not immediately respond to Jones's apology.
Charlie Sheen, the former lead actor on the series who was fired in 2011 after a public battle with drug addiction, has taken the opportunity to crow about the programme's new crisis, saying: "With Angus' Hale-Bopp-like meltdown, it is radically clear to me that the show is cursed."