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The confirmation comes in the wake of a report that the Academy may have pressured ABC to keep spots for ABC News’ interview with the embattled Two and Half Men star out of the telecast.
Portions of the interview will air Monday and Tuesday on Good Morning America while the bulk of it will be seen Tuesday at 10 p.m. on a special edition of newsmagazine 20/20.
The interview is a big get for ABC News and correspondent Andrea Canning, who conducted the sit-down with Sheen Saturday at his home in Los Angeles. And the Oscars offer an enormous platform to promote it. Last year, nearly 42 million viewers watched the telecast on ABC; the Oscars’ largest audience in five years.
Canning – who is described as an “incredibly hard worker” by her ABC News colleagues – is among a handful of reporters Sheen has been exchanging text messages with during his public tirades against CBS, Warner Bros. Television and series co-creator Chuck Lorre.
“Charlie saw her on the air and thought she was very fair,” says an ABC News source.
In the interview, Sheen talks candidly about his drug use and reiterates his defense of his use of Lorre’s Hebrew name, Chaim Levine, saying that it’s no more anti-Semitic than others referring to him as Carlos Estevez is anti-Hispanic.
“He talks about everything,” adds the source. “He’s on fire.”
Quite literally, apparently. Sheen was chain-smoking throughout the interview, which presented a problem for ABC News since the network has an unofficial rule against showing interview subjects smoking cigarettes. “It became an issue,” said the source. “It’s impossible to cut around it.”
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