The Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen has been accused of borderline antisemitism following his public attack on the programme’s Jewish producer.
The actor told a radio show that Chuck Lorre was a "contaminated little maggot" and a clown.
He made the comments after filming of the popular series was put on hold, possibly permanently, in response to Mr Sheen’s recent erratic behaviour, which has included alleged drug use and violence .
But Mr Sheen, the son of West Wing actor Martin Sheen, referred to Mr Lorre and “Chaim Levine”. Mr Lorre’s original name is Charles Michael Levine.
The actor added: "I violently hate Chaim Levine.”
Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said that Mr Sheen had “left the impression that another reason for his dislike of Mr Lorre is his Jewishness”.
He added: “This fact has no relevance to Mr Sheen’s complaint or disagreement. His words are at best bizarre, and at worst, borderline antisemitism.”
Mr Sheen defended his remarks with a letter to showbiz website TMZ. He said he had used the Jewish name because he wanted “to address the man, not the…TV persona”.