‘Two And A Half Men’ To Explore Gay Rights In Final Season [Spoilers]

In a rather stunning turn of events, CBS has announced that 'Two And a Half Men' stars Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer will get married in the show's final season. Why? So that they can adopt a child together.

TwoAndAHalfMenAccording to a piece from The Hollywood Reporter, Kutcher's character, Walden, will have a health scare at the beginning of the season leading to a search for meaning and resulting in a desire to have a child of his own. The problem? It is difficult to adopt as a single, heterosexual man. The solution? To marry the man who already essentially serves as his life partner, Cryer's Alan, and adopt a child together. 

CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler reportedly loves the idea:

She called the story a "great ride," and said that she views the storyline as a "very positive statement" about the wave of gay rights that are becoming more commonplace across the country and that she's not worried about any sort of blowback from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

"I think it's a very positive statement that, you know what, I am going to adopt a child as [part of] a gay couple and the reality is, he can do that," she told THR. "And in a universe where at one point you couldn't do that and now you can do that, I think that's a much more positive statement that he's making."

Show creator Chuck Lorre recognized the possibility for offense but said he hopes viewers will not take the show too seriously.

"I hope there's [no backlash]," Lorre told E! News at the CBS TCA party on Thursday. "The show has always caused controversy. We have. There's no intention to insult or diminish anyone. The intention is to create laughter. That's it. Great laughter and if it's got a heartbeat in there that would be nice, too."

GLAAD stated that they hope the show will address the fact that in many states it is still impossible for same-sex couples to adopt children, but they have otherwise remained silent. 

What do you think about the heterosexual-same-sex-marriage plot? Offensive or inspired?


  1. Mike in the Tundra says

    What does that have to do with gay rights? All that it is showing is two heterosexual men taking advantage of a lot and work and pain by by gay people.

  2. One of the CA 36,000+ says

    What’s more appalling is the fact that Chuck Lorre honestly thinks that this popular CBS atrocity can evoke laughter from anyone with two working brain cells. I can tell you that I’ve seen “Two and a Half Men” episodes on trans-continental American Airlines flights; those are the only flights where I wished for our plane to go down, if only to stop the pain of watching “Two and a Half Men”.

    Just kidding. Kind of. The show is terrible and should have been put out of our misery years ago.

    The plot line? Well, it belittles the pain and struggle that we married gay and lesbian folk have gone through to get married and turns it into what will probably be a Gay Panic-filled, laughter-free 22 minutes of stupidity.

    Oh please make it stop.

  3. Richard says

    Offensive and exploitative. Diminishes the significance of a real gay marriage based on love and commitment by demonstrating a false one based on calculation and subterfuge.

  4. gregorybrown says

    This confirms one of the pathetic arguments offered by bigots against “gay marriage”: that heteros will use it to obtain tax breaks and other things not available to unmarried people, A story line about using marriage as a loop hole to obtain an adoption may seem benign but you know that the Usual Suspects will
    get enough of the Gay Agenda dislodged from their throats to say AHA!

  5. Sams Here says

    Would it not have made more sense for him to marry a woman and adopt? How does being in a SS marriage help with adoption? They don’t throw kids at gay people.

  6. Drummond says

    I do not watch the show, and this proposed storyline does nothing to entice me. It’s bad karma. As stated above, a “fake” hetero/gay marriage, even on a fictional TV show, plays shamefully against the thousands of couples aching to get married for real love and commitment.

  7. codpiece says

    Are they kidding with this? So basically…”Laughter. Great laughter.” at the possible expense of gays, and the real gay people fighting for our rights.

    Who in Hollywood thought this was a good idea.

    But mostly what it will do is get repubs to wag their fingers and say “see what gay rights will do? Now Jon and Ashton, and straight men will try to adopt those kids we dropped off at the orphanage that we didn’t ever want. How dare they.” I can hear them now complaining about the gays are destroying traditional marriage and adoption.

    Maybe it will foster debate. But I’m not interested in debating about fictional straight characters trying to adopt by pretending to be gay.

    I’m concerned about real gay people, fighting for real gay rights.

    Do a tv show about that, Hollywood.

  8. Rick Moore says

    Disregarding the plot line’s artistic license and suspension of belief aside, just curious, when did it become difficult for a single, white male billionaire to adopt kids? The “billionaire” aspect alone guarantees a child’s adoption, single or otherwise. That’s where the incredulity comes into play.

  9. Eddie in OKC says

    What’s all the fuss? Heterosexual people have been bastardizing marriage for their own selfish purposes for hundreds of years (immigration, citizenship, inheritance, frivolity, etc.). Why are we surprised? This only shows how little sanctity they actually have for this institution. Meh.

  10. Rob says

    Very short-sighted. As well-intentioned as the producers may characterize this turn of events, this purported storyline will only reinforce the opposition’s artillery against same-sex marriage. Given that here two characters are not (currently identifying as ) GAY, theirs is not a “gay marriage.” Rather, it is 2 heterosexual men using the guise of Gay marriage, and usurping marriage equality as a means to achieve their own end. As positive as this end may be (to adopt a child), it is a legal slippery slope if we accept this as a forgiveable reason to fake a gay marriage, or any marriage, for that matter.

    While marriage as an institution has often been more about legal contracts, inheritance, property, and societal position than about love and family, this storyline will only play into the anti-marriage equality folks that use scare tactics about abuse of the marital status for personal gain.

    Perhaps a better storyline would be for the characters to consider their options, and choose instead either to work within the system to change this negative view of single male parents, or to choose to co-parent a child with a loving and COMMITTED couple (presumably Lesbian – such as Charlie’s daughter – but also potentially a heterosexual couple with fertility challenges).

    Just my 2 cents. In the end, I don’t have much hope that this show will veer from it’s consistently predictable low-brow path, playing to the least common denominator, and having no lasting societal impact.

  11. Chris says

    If I wasn’t constantly surprised that the show was still on, I guess I’d be offended, but as it is, I can’t bring myself to care what they do. Plus it’s not even an original storyline. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry already did it like 5 years ago.

  12. Rowan says

    Wow, how f*cking homophobic is this show??!! Where is GLAAD?? As much as I love the transgendered comm, GLAAD appears to not be able to do more then one thing at the same time, so they will of course ignore this.

  13. Mike says

    Chuck Lorre has proven to be totally insensitive and tone-deaf when it comes to LGBT characters on every single series he’s ever had on television. His LGBT characters, and even the hint of being LGBT, are always the brunt of the joke. This is going to be a disaster.

  14. northalabama says

    i’ve never seen the show, and never will.

    funny? no. offensive? yes, primarily because gay rights are still ignored by many states across the country. unique? not at all, in fact quite predictable. potential for good? possibly, it all depends on the writing and behaviors exhibited by the characters, but will not likely have any positive effect. i’ll let fans of the show and tv reviewers figure it out.

  15. leprechaunvict says

    This was already done in that mediocre Adam Sandler/Kevin James movie “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry” a few years ago. I never watch the show as I don’t find it funny, and don’t plan to now.

  16. Brad says

    Mildly offensive. I am millions of other Americans live in a state where it certainly does not help your adoption chances by being in a same sex marriage. In fact, they don’t even recognize my marriage, and under state law I would have to adopt as a single man despite being married in Massachusetts 2 years ago. They could at least wait until we all have the right to marry before exploiting it.

  17. Moz's says

    already been done

    always sunny in phili already did it

    and i bet i could find many other shows who have done it as wel if i wanted to google it

  18. Zell says

    My God, people get offended at literally anything lately. I don’t watch the show and this won’t make me watch it, but jeez, people, I feel like our new national pastime is to sit back and write angry letters denouncing people and demanding apologies.

  19. ben~andy says

    If the wackos can state that Obama is using the downed Malaysian airliner to advance the “gay agenda”, then it really doesn’t matter what Chuck Lorre, CBS, TV in general does. They already hate everything about it anyway. None of the characters on 2.5 Men are “Christian role models”, sleeping around as they do. The most troubling aspect to them is probably that Alden is a billionaire and we all know that God favors with riches the righteous. Perhaps his existential suffering makes up for it, I dunno.

    I don’t and won’t watch it. I did check it out when Ashton replaced Martin’s idiot son because I always thought Ashton had potential. He still might, but he doesn’t display it here. As for the plot line, network television almost never leads. Mitch and Cam just got married on Modern Family. In TV time, the CA ruling came after the season had ended in 2013. And the lead up to a wedding is far too much fun to rush, so it took a year.

    And, finally, the demographic that any network comedy seeks is young, male, stupid consumers. Big Bang Theory is the biggest show on network TV because it has more crossover appeal. 2.5 men is still around because it solidly tells stories that demographic wants to see. Alan is pathetic, he still gets laid. Alden is rich, he still has problems. The .5 is still an idiot [on and off screen]. And moving that demographic to realize that their might be benefits for THEM in SSM is not a bad thing.

    As Ellen says, “Haters gonna hate” and they will no matter what we do, what TV does. No AG is going to stand up in front of the Supremes and argue that we can’t have SSM nationwide because then Alden can marry Alan, he already CAN. They live in Malibu, California, but it could be Cape Cod, Fire Island, Lanai, Astoria [OR], Bainbridge Island [WA], Palisades Highlands [NJ], Santa Fe, Highland Park [Il] or Astoria [ME]. And Ruth Bader Ginsberg will ask, “How is that any different from what drives some heterosexual marriages now?”

    from Hollywood,

  20. pete n sfo says

    Yeah, what could possibly be offensive about trivializing Marriage Equality at a time when many are still being denied equal benefits for their spouses & children today.

    I suppose they’re trying to exploit reaction for any publicity. I’ll do my best to not even mention that I know it’s happening.

    I actually like both Cryer & Kutcher, but I’m completely disappointed in them both.

  21. David says

    When people are hurt it does matter. I find offense to it because me and my partner had to go through HELL to adopt our 4 kids in Georgia. We fostered to adopt together but when it came time for the adoption they dropped me like a hot potato. We had to go out and hire a separate attorney in order for me to do a second parent adoption. We could not do it together, so we have the true story to tell.

  22. Den says

    I guess the laughter will be caused by the mistaken idea put into other characters minds of these 2 men being a couple. In much of our supposed enlightened society, gay love, particularly male is viewed as either disgusting or sniggeringly funny . The theme of straight men having to pretend to be gay is well mined in comedy films and drama. This plot shows as a them it still produces laughs

  23. Fox says

    Well, it’s certainly not “inspired,” since this is the same way David E. Kelly ended dramedy “Boston Legal” six years ago, when Denny Crane and Alan Shore got married, because Denny’s Alzheimer’s was looming, and getting married was seen as the quickest and simplest legal measure to take to ensure that someone Denny trusted and “loved” could make medical decisions for him and manage his finances and estate. The intricacies and actualy the seriousness of their bromance had been a running theme on the show, plus their marriage was also played opposite the heterosexual marriage taking place between two other major characters.

  24. ben~andy says

    @David, I’m sorry you had to go through hell to adopt and from the sound of it, congratulations on getting it done! CA’s adoption rules are different than GA’s and were even before we had SSM. Gay couples could adopt here before we could get married [as of 2003] and even before we had civil unions lesbians could have children by artificial insemination [as of 1976] while same sex sex was added to the state constitution as an inalienable right by VOTER AMENDMENT in 1974.

    In GA, it wasn’t until 1998 that laws against gay sex were struck down [in advance of Lawrence v. Texas by 5 years however]. Recent polling in GA [Aug/Sept 2013] says that the electorate is just about evenly split on ANY recognition of SS relationships, but with 3 way split between calling it “marriage” at 28%, “civil or domestic union” at 29% or not favoring ANY recognition at all at 39% w/ only 3% unsure. GA is a MUCH more conservative state. Compare that to Prop 8’s passage in CA 52.25% to 47.75% in 2008. And we lost because soccer moms in the Bay Area voted against us more than was expected.

    But this won’t be the story of 2 gay men in GA, but rather the story to two straight men in CA. You can argue that they aren’t telling “your” story and the stories of the probably tens of thousands of gay parents in the less progressive states, but not that it isn’t a “true” story. A single straight man has difficulty in adopting everywhere. A divorced straight dad has difficulty gaining custody unless the mother is deemed completely unfit. There is a bias against men raising children and that doubles down when it is a gay man or men. The old idea that we “recruit” dies a very long, slow death. It’s ridiculous. Just like our straight brothers and sisters, we almost 100% had straight parents and children of SS couples are no more likely than others of their generation to turn out “gay”.

    I think a story of men wanting to raise a child is a good story to tell, even on a silly comedy like 2.5 men. And it reflects that show’s original idea. Two men raising a child. It is not “everyone’s” story, but it is a story. Mitch and Cam adopted [internationally] and I suppose there were questions about that at the time [“What about all the kids in the US waiting for adoption?”]. These two men happen to be straight. They also happen to have a top 30 television show [it was only #10 in ’08-09, mostly it has been in the teens, this past year #27].

    Talk about your story, Dave. Perhaps there will be an aspiring author who wants to write it up [or you could] and perhaps there will be an aspiring film maker who wants to make it [or you could] and perhaps it will be the next indie film festival hit. Media is concentrated. Don’t plan on them telling your story except by accident. Tell your own story in the most interesting way you can.

  25. Keith says

    I agree with most of the viewpoints expressed before, and I as a married man in a committed relationship find this storyline offensive. I hope they read this blog and change their minds. There are other ways for them to tell this story without trivializing marriage equality.

  26. JackFknTwist says

    I agree with most comments here.
    Wow, how to trivialise an issue which has cost some lives and careers and driven elderly couples to go to the Supreme Court to vindicate their rights to equality.

    Same sex marriage and adoption by gays ! what a hoot.
    It’s stupidity like this makes me hate the west coast……..irrational, I agree, but visceral !

  27. David says

    @Ben~Andy 😉
    I have wrote to all of our local papers here in Atlanta/Cobb County trying to get out story told but have had no luck. I will keep trying though because our story is important. There are so many kids in the Foster Care system waiting for a loving home. The birth mother of our kids have had 8 children taken away at separate times and we have been blessed enough to adopt 4 of them. We have a 8,7,5 & 3 year old :) I guess we are truly the modern family…

  28. Alex Parrish says

    I confess — this feels wrong to me, but after writing a long post about this (which I deleted) I brought myself to understand that two people — regardless of gender — who chose to marry should have that right and the government has no business asking their motivations. Even though this feels wrong to me, I admit that it is on-messge concerning what I believe. I dislike this marriage as much the right-wing would dislike my marrying my partner of 37 years (which is still legally forbidden to me, and, in WI we would be criminally liable should we go out-of-state to get married). I started-out this post really offended and annoyed but as I wrote this and thought-it-through I came to the conclusion that, the plot has already helped me crystalize my thoughts about marriage. Perhaps this is in fact, a gift. I still am not feeling good about this plot, but It has caused me to think it through, and this is a good and important thing. Maybe I’ll even watch.

  29. Bernie says

    I think the idea that 2 heterosexual men should marry to adopt is a poor idea, even for a TV show…even though most of us know this is a TV show, those who oppose marriage equality will point out that gays only want to marry for convenience… and as we know those on the right like to cherry pick and are not very smart…..

  30. codpiece says

    @ben~andy from hollywood…I’m really tired of that young male demographic crap that hollywood has clinged to for years. Please don’t tell me that all those commercials for laundry detergent, tampons, dish washing liquid, I can’t believe it’s not butter and weight watchers are aimed at the young male demographic with buying power. Because it’s not.

    The truth is this is all Hollywood has been giving us for a long time. It’s not hard to do/write/produce sophomore humor.

    But all across Europe you have shows and films with much older actors and with story lines that appeal to a broad spectrum of ages. And there is about a 70% increase in films with female or large female casts over there by comparison to US female lead films. Also in the US we know there are more women than men. Politicians know this fact for sure, as the womens vote can decide an election. So really females would have more buying power by sheer numbers than men.

    The point is, maybe it’s time to stop giving in to the perception of the young male with money. And start making shows that appeal to other aged demographics who actually do have the money.

    Like you, I don’t watch this show. So we agree on that. So, it’s not my money that’s supporting it. I watch American Horror Story, a show with gay appeal and gay and female friendlier casts.

  31. petey says

    I don’t think Two and a Half Men is serious about gay issues. For one thing, it’s a comedy.

    Hasn’t it already had some fake lipstick-lesbian on the show this year? Also, why have the producers waited until the show’s dying days to have a gay male storyline? Are gay men only good for dying shows?

  32. Lymis says

    “”I think it’s a very positive statement that, you know what, I am going to adopt a child as [part of] a gay couple and the reality is, he can do that,””

    That’s what’s incredibly tone deaf, because two straight men marrying each other are not a gay couple, and never will be.

  33. Gordon says

    Stupid and offensive. While 2 straight men should be able to be married, don’t put the “gay” spin on it. The characters never suffered any gay issues at all. The more logical way for “Walden” to get a child and heir is to have a surrogate mother selected with the use of his vast fortune.

  34. gregorybrown says

    Thanks to Alex Parrish for sharing the process that the story started for you. This proposed plot remains idiotic but…marriage as a civil contract that can have many legitimate purposes is something that is too easily overlooked on both sides of the marriage equality issue.

    Focusing on reproduction as a basic element of marriage while overlooking the underlying elements of control over property and promotion of a set of “stable” social relationships makes it easier to shout loudly. Introducing religious beliefs makes the likelihood of the noise actually making sense remote.

    So even an idiotic tasteless twist in a show that was witless and brain numbing from the start–like so much of what’s ladled out as entertainment–can lead to the kind of introspection that Alex shares. Now we have to commit to pursuing what’s real life.

  35. I wont grow up says

    First of all I can’t believe anyone is still watching this POS. That being said, the people who do watch it are just the red neck mouth breathers who do not need any more ammunition in their war of hatred against us.

  36. Randy says

    People marry for all sorts of reasons.

    Same-sex marriage was banned because it was same-sex. Regardless of who the ban was lifted for, it benefits all same-sex partners who wish to marry.

    Our opponents were clear, gay people COULD get married, in opposite-sex marriages. As unpalatable as that is, it is true.

    This is why I disagree strongly with courts who find that marriage bans are somehow discriminating on the basis of orientation. That may indeed be where much of the animus comes from, but the bans are sexist, and nothing else. They’ve been specifically designed that way so as to appear to be rational, harming each sex equally, rather than appearing to be anti-gay.

  37. Billy says

    Just went to GLAAD’s Facebook page. It is infuriating.

    They have nothing about this on their FB. In fact, the entire page is nothing but celebrity news items which have all been reported elsewhere and a few gay-related news items, which have nothing to do with the media and which also have been widely reported elsewhere. There isn’t a single post about defamatory anti-gay media nor is there a single post which would suggest that they actually do anything.

    Feel free to let them know what you think of the value they are providing for the millions of $ they take in every year:


  38. Eric Payne says

    In both Lorre’s and CBS’ comments about the upcoming season, I almost get the sense they’re teasing a different, more subtle storyline: the characters of Walden and Allan, after Walden’s health scare, re-examine their lives, and realize they’re actually gay, and are in love. Look at the history of both characters; each were, at one time, married to women because that’s just what a guy at a certain age (or achieving a certain financial objective) are supposed to do. Each has a failed history of relationships — both physical and emotional — with other women… and those relationships, invariably, always end with Walden and Allan “back together.” So, who knows? Lorre May have planned for next season to be a double coming out story.

  39. Larry says

    I am uneasy with two straight guys getting married for the convenience of it, not for the purpose of cementing their relationship with legal protections. It’s not the intention of same-sex marriage to marry for the hell of it.
    However, on a sarcastic note, this does seem to be the way that straight people regard marriage.

  40. JD says

    This isn’t new to sitcoms. Wanda Sykes & Julia Louis-Dryfuss married to keep Barb in the country on “New Christine”? Jane Leves and Wendie Malick married on “Hot in Cleveland”. Jack and Rosario on “Will and Grace”. So the new angle is to adopt rather than get a green card. This is hardly new or offensive.

  41. says

    Won’t be as offensive 20 years from now…but super offensive today, mainly because the anti-gay folks will use this as an illustration that people aren’t really gay, they just choose to be this way…I wonder if 1 million moms will boycott this show or applaud it.

  42. says

    Wait a minute, wait a minute.

    Was actually just watching an episode (and, yes, I *love* the show. In my previous existence [to paraphrase the Rt. Rev. Richard Coles], the show was fairly decent, up ’til the last couple seasons.

    Also, for those saying the right-wingers are gonna use this idea against us? This show has so much sex and boobage in it to begin with that they already aren’t gonna get anywhere *near* it! They already hate the show with a burning passion, so to think that they’re gonna flip-flop to actually using it as a sort of “evidence”? Wouldn’t shock me if they did, but I still find it unlikely.

    (Like everyone else, I also thought “Chuck and Larry” when I read the idea for the plot, so at least they’re not breaking new ground, I guess.)

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