I admit I used to be a Chris Brown fan. I loved the song “Forever”; I would sing and dance when the song came on the radio while I was driving. I recall being excited that The Office used Forever in Jim and Pam’s wedding. And then the news broke that Chris Brown had physically assaulted Rihanna on the night before the 2009 Grammys.
After that, I stopped listening to him. Instead of dancing every time his song came on the radio, I would swiftly change the station. I understood that this is no way affected Brown, but it was my way of protesting him and his actions.
Fast forward three years later to last night’s Grammys, where Brown was in attendance. It is unfathomable to me how he can be asked to attend, perform, and even win. Not only that but the Grammys executive producer is happy about this fact, stating “If you note, he has not been on the Grammys the past few years and it may have taken us a while to kind of get over the fact that we were victim on what happened.” Say what.
So the Grammys are the victim because they were left scrambling to fill the spots set aside for Brown and Rihanna in the 2009 awards and not Rihanna, who was hospitalized.
What was more disappointing to me, however, were the comments from my peers. They ranged from “I can’t believe Chris Brown won for best album..it wasn’t even that good” to “Chris Brown is not a good live performer”. Very few people expressed disgust at the fact that Brown was even at the Grammys.
Does anyone not remember how badly Rihanna was beaten? Do they not recall his lack of remorse in the weeks after? Is everyone suffering from a case of short-term memory loss?
Many people would defend Brown by saying they separate the artist and the person, but I don’t buy that for a second. Two reasons why: Isaiah Washington and Michael Richards. Washington, who played Dr. Burke on Grey’s Anatomy, was promptly fired from the show for using a gay slur against a co-worker. Richards, who played Kramer on the hit show Seinfeld, went off on a racial rant during a stand up show and was videotaped doing so.
Both actors have virtually disappeared in Hollywood (with good reason). No casting director in their right mind would hire them; their careers are essentially over.
So why is Chris Brown still famous? By letting him still make music and attend high-profile events like the Grammys, society is saying that it is okay to hit a woman — there are no repercussions. What kind of message is this sending to young girls everywhere? This is an idea. Sad, isn’t it?
I can’t see myself ever liking a Chris Brown song again even if it is the most amazing song ever, but that’s just me. How do you feel about this? Do you still listen to Brown’s songs? Why or why not?
For more on Chris Brown, read Sasha Pasulka’s well-written article on the topic.