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Chuck Lorre Avoids Les Moonves Question But Stresses ‘You Can’t Do Good Work in an Unsafe Environment’

TCA: The "Two and a Half Men" creator noted he has some experience working in "unsafe environments" and expressed disbelief common decency isn't already the standard.

This photo shows Chuck Lorre, executive producer of the hit sitcoms "Two and a Half Men," "The Big Bang Theory" and "Mike & Molly," posing before an interview in New York. Lorre is the author of a coffee table book, "What Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Bitter", a collection of 333 vanity-cards of Lorre's stories and witticisms. Proceeds from the book will benefit Lorre's Dharma-Grace FoundationTV-Chuck Lorres Book, New York, USA

Chuck Lorre

Matthews/AP/REX/Shutterstock

With three well-rated comedies still airing on CBS, Chuck Lorre has had a successful working relationship with Les Moonves for decades. During Sunday afternoon’s TCA panel for Lorre’s new Netflix show, “The Kominksy Method,” the creator of “The Big Bang Theory,” “Young Sheldon,” and “Mom” — not to mention “Two and a Half Men,” “Mike and Molly,” and “Cybill” — responded to allegations that the CBS chairman of the board, president, and CEO sexually harassed six women and has committed more sexual misconduct over the course of his career at CBS.

Though reluctant to answer at first given the “venue,” Lorre responded under a broader context. “I do think it’s important to have a safe work environment. And I’ve been in some unsafe environments. You can read about them,” he said.

Lorre is likely alluding to his experience working with Charlie Sheen on “Two and a Half Men”; Sheen and Lorre had a public falling out, and the popular Emmy-winning series devolved into such a mess its star was forced off the show and ultimately killed off (actually twice, once at the beginning of Season 9, the second time during the series finale). He might have also been referring to Roseanne Barr, who fired him from “Roseanne,” or his tussles with “Grace Under Fire” star Brett Butler and “Cybill” star Cybill Shepherd.

“You can’t do good work in an unsafe environment. And it has to be made safe for everyone,” Lorre continued. “Why would anyone want to go to work in an environment if it’s not nurturing? You certainly can’t do comedy if you’re frightened. You certainly can’t do good work if the environment doesn’t support you and look after your best interests.

“That should go without saying,” he said. “I can’t believe we’re having to have that conversation. It should go without saying. It’s just common courtesy and decency to take care of each other.”

“The Big Bang Theory,” “Mom,” and “Young Sheldon” are all set to return to CBS this fall. Lorre remains an executive producer on all three programs. “The Kominsky Method” is his second original series produced for Netflix; “Disjointed,” his first, was cancelled after one season. “The Kominsky Method” premieres November 16.

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