In one of the strangest anomalies ever at the Emmys, one character — Charlie Harper on “Two and a Half Men” — has earned acting nominations for both a man and a woman.
The circumstances surrounding the character’s gender switch are unique. After continued negative publicity over his excessive partying and drug abuse and a public feud with “Men” creator Chuck Lorre, Sheen was fired from the long-running CBS sitcom in 2011 after eight seasons. His character was killed off to make room for his replacement, Ashton Kutcher.
In the April 30, 2012, episode “Why We Gave Up Women,” Charlie, who returned as a ghost to haunt his brother Alan (Jon Cryer), was played by Bates. Charlie tells Alan that after a life of womanizing and debauchery, he was sent to hell and condemned to spend eternity in a woman’s body. Bates, who also contends for Drama Actress with “Harry’s Law” has yet to win an Emmy despite nine nominations.
Bates is not the only gender-bending performer in the Comedy Guest Actress race. Margaret Cho is nominated for playing both North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il and his son Kim Jong-un in a brief cameo appearance on “30 Rock.”