"Two and a Half Men" has been no stranger to controversy over the years, and such was the case again this week when CBS entertainment boss Nina Tassler announced the show would be incorporating a faux gay marriage into the upcoming season's storyline.
Tassler revealed that Walden (Ashton Kutcher), in an attempt to aid his adoption efforts, would ask Alan (Jon Cryer) to marry him.
The plotline was met with both confusion and outrage from some over the idea, however series star Jon Cryer says the last thing anyone on the show is trying to do is "cheapen" the equality efforts of the gay community.
"The last thing we want to do is cheapen what has been an incredible struggle for the LGBT community… That being said, the idea of a marriage of convenience has been a comedic concept for centuries," the actor told Access Hollywood at the CBS TCA party on Thursday night. "Certainly, we're going to deal with the fact that gay couples can't adopt – there are still states where gay couples can't adopt.
"We try to be respectable about that kind of stuff. But it's 'Two and a Half Men,' so there might be some stuff in questionable taste," he admitted.
As for what leads Alan and Walden to wanting to marry and adopt, Jon explained it's brought on by the characters' circumstances.
"Walden goes through a life-changing experience, and so does Alan actually… his wedding fell apart… and so, what first seems like a crazy idea – Walden bringing a child into his life to bring him meaning -- suddenly starts to make sense when they think that these two guys, who have become friends over the years, very close, that they could marry each other and raise a child together," Jon said.
"We've always played with gender roles quite a bit on 'Two and Half Men,' certainly in Alan's case, and it brings up a million comedic ideas for the writers, so that's where we're going for the season," he added.
While viewers wait to see exactly how the story unfolds, one thing is certain – this is the final season of the long-running CBS series, something which Jon is embracing.
"I'm ready for it to be over, only because playing the same guy for 12 years is weird for an actor. We're just not used to it. We're not made for that kind of thing!" he laughed. "I'm looking forward to new opportunities and being somebody else. But I'm grateful for all of it."
-- Eric Anderson