NEW YORK (AP) — Teenage actor Angus T. Jones of the comedy "Two and a Half Men" apologized Tuesday for a series of interviews denouncing his own show, an episode that has rivaled former colleague Charlie Sheen's meltdown as an off-screen oddity.
Speaking to religious media outlets, the 19-year-old Jones has called the CBS comedy "filth" and "very inappropriate" and talked about how his religious awakening has affected his attitude toward life and work.
"Two and a Half Men," television's third most popular comedy, remains heavy on sexual innuendo even with Ashton Kutcher replacing bad-boy Sheen following his firing for drug use and a subsequent public meltdown. Jones, who started on the show when he was 10, plays Jake Harper, son of the uptight character portrayed by Emmy winner Jon Cryer.
In a statement issued late Tuesday, Jones said he had the highest regard for all of the people he has worked with on the comedy, including creator Chuck Lorre and Warner Bros. studio chief Peter Roth.
"I apologize if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed," said Jones, who reportedly makes $350,000 an episode. "I never intended that."
Jones wasn't at the studio lot for a rehearsal on Tuesday. He's not scheduled to appear on the two episodes that are being filmed before the end of the year, said a person close to the show who spoke on condition of anonymity because Warner Bros. and CBS haven't commented publicly on Jones. His character has recently joined the Army and his airtime has been cut down.
His real-life adventure came to light on Monday, when he said in a video posted by the Forerunner Chronicles in Seale, Ala., featured him talking about not wanting to be on "Two and a Half Men" anymore.
"Please stop watching it," Jones said. "Please stop filling your head with filth."
In a radio broadcast, "The Voice of Prophecy," recorded for the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Jones' birthday in October, Jones described his religious path. He has been attending a Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Los Angeles area.
Jones said he felt drawn to God after a tough time in his life when his parents were going through a divorce and he experimented with drugs.
"I never drank," he said. "That was one thing God protected me from, and I'm still a virgin. God protected me from those things."
Jones said that "it's very weird that I'm on a television show, especially now that I am trying to walk with God. My television show has nothing to do with God and doesn't want anything to do with God." Still, he said he had no plans to get out of his contract.
In another interview posted on Tuesday with Christianity Today, Jones described himself as a "paid hypocrite."
"Even though it's my job to be an actor, I have given my life to God," he said. "I am very comfortable and firm in that, but I still have to be on this show. It's the No. 1 comedy, but it's very inappropriate and the themes are very inappropriate. I have to be this person I am not."
"Two and a Half Men," which has seen its ratings tumble this fall with a move to Thursdays, is now behind "The Big Bang Theory" and "Modern Family" in the comedy ratings.
AP Religion Writer Rachel Zoll in New York contributed to this report.