If I dress up as Charlie Sheen for Halloween, does that put money in his pocket?
—B. Darling, via the inbox
If you infuse yourself with tiger blood for Hallo-Sheen, then you will join thousands of people in their choice in 2011 costume. Charlie Sheen masks are second only, apparently, to pregnant Bella Swans in their popularity. (Way to get creative, there, America.)
But if you don't like the idea of Sheen profiting from sitting on your face, you won't like what I have to say:
If you buy a Charlie Sheen costume, especially at a large chain store, chances are, he gets a percentage. To that point, TMZ reports that "Spirit Halloween stores hammered out a deal with both Charlie and Live Nation to obtain all necessary Sheen licenses—but wouldn't specify on the actor's cut."
I reached out to the Spirit Halloween stores and got nary a ghost of a response. But no matter. Many celebrity licensing deals look similar, so let's gawp at some others. Last year, Zooey Deschanel sued Steve Madden for botching a shoe and clothing deal.
Per Women's Wear Daily at the time:
"[T]he court documents allege that Madden approved a $2 million up-front payment to Deschanel in order to use her name and likeness, plus a 5 percent domestic royalty fee and a 4.5 percent international royalty fee."
(The matter has yet to be settled.)
So let's say that Sheen has stricken a similar deal. You go out and buy a Sheen mask ($12.95), fedora ($14.95), wig ($9.50). Hypothetically, Sheen would earn $1.87.
When such deals go well, they go very, very well. Last year, Jessica Simpson made a reported $750 million by licensing her name to more than 20 types of merch.
I can't imagine Sheen making that amount of bank via $15 hats, but if you want to ensure it doesn't happen, dress up as a pregnant Bella instead.