Charlie Sheen's new television comedy "Anger Management" will premiere on FX in June. However, the way Sheen and FX are promoting the show is stirring up controversy.
Warner Brothers Studios has sent Sheen, FX, and the "Anger Management's" production company Debar-Mercury cease and desist letters requiring them to stop using Warner Brother's owned photographs in the promotion of the new show.
Warner Brothers produced Charlie Sheen's old show "Two and a Half Men," and last fall Charlie Sheen won a settlement of $25 million against Warner Brothers for his wrongful termination. Warner Brothers is fighting back where they can.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, at least two photos of Charlie Sheen taken for "Two and a Half Men" are owned by Warner Brothers and are being used by Sheen in violation of copyright law.
In January, the photographs in question were used in a promotional publication at the NATPE conference in Miami in an effort to publicize "Anger Management" to domestic and international buyers.
The Hollywood Reporter republished excerpts of the cease and desist letter, drafted by Warner Brothers lawyer Katherine Chilton.
She wrote, "You are using Warner's intellectual property for a commercial purpose – namely, to sell another show – is especially egregious. Please immediately cease and desist from using these photographs or any other intellectual property belonging to Warner."
Attorneys for FX, Sheen, and Debmar-Mercury have not commented on the cease and desist letter. However, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that a source close to the controversy told them Sheen has just been too busy to take new publicity photos, and using Warner Brothers photos was merely accidental. The source is quoted saying, "It won't happen again."
"Anger Management" premieres this summer and will feature Sheen as a therapist who has more issues than his clients. The show is based on the movie "Anger Management," starring Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler.