Chris Brown Still Having A Career
- All jokes aside, I think it’s pretty absurd for this to be the case. The guy has faced virtually no repercussions or punishment for the assault and battery of a woman. It was also a woman that many people love and identify with in the media, so you’d think that would have a bit more of an impact on people (it shouldn’t matter either way, but for the sake of argument…). Instead, the guy has released two albums since then, and starred in major motion pictures. The fact that he even still has a record deal, the fact that anyone wants to interview him, let alone go to his concerts and watch his movies, is baffling to me. I hate to get all real on here, but it’s sending a pretty fucked up message to kids that this type of thing is okay. Celebrities have gotten persecuted in the media for a lot less, and yet the brutal assault of a woman is apparently just fine. Not only that, but he is the one who gets outraged that he has to talk about it in interviews? Doesn’t this tell you that the guy is maybe a little unstable mentally?
I don’t want to lend weight to the idea that artistic or creative credibility gives you a pass on something as heinous as beating a woman, but how did guys like Ike Turner and Michael Jackson get persecuted - until the day they died! - for the things they’d done? These are guys who changed the face of music. Who the fuck is Chris Brown? He’s not Curtis Mayfield. He’s not even Usher or someone like this. Who is he to throw a chair at a window and act as if it’s out of line to be asked about something terrible he’s done, as recently as two years ago?
From a music fan’s perspective, I’m not usually one to dismiss somebody’s art because of things they may have done in real life. Chinatown is one of my favourite movies despite Roman Polanski’s questionable romantic relations. Axl Rose is a drug abusing, girlfriend beating racist (among several other things), yet I still consider Guns N’ Roses to be one of my favourite bands. The difference here is that both Rose and Polanski were persecuted by the press - I can’t think of someone who’s been put down more than Axl Rose - and that both artists make art to be consumed by people old enough to be able to make the distinction between right and wrong. These are artists whose art is not marketed to pre-teen boys and girls. Ten year old kids aren’t trying to follow in Axl Rose’s footsteps (myself excluded). When you have a guy whose bread and butter comes from the Disney Channel, how is this okay - with his financial investors and with his fans? And, again, it’s not like the guy is an “artist.” He’s a dime a dozen pop star who could easily be replaced with another, less crazy, less okay with hitting girls teenager. I wanna reiterate that it doesn’t matter who you are, that hitting women is never okay - but who the fuck is Chris Brown and why is he still allowed to do anything?
The scary thing is that he has people supporting him, people accepting his apologies, apologists making excuses for what he did, and people going as far as to say that Rhianna maybe deserved it. Now, no one hates Rhianna’s music more than me*, but I don’t think I’d ever wish something like this on her, even after having to hear “Umbrella” seventy-five thousand times. The fact that Brown is allowed to go on making music with not even so much as a slap on the wrist from either the police or his record label or his management adds weight to the pervasive, frightening school of thought that a lot of people have - which is that women who are abused did something to “deserve it.” Let me tell you something: No one deserves that. No one “has it coming.” To hear this from ignorant males is one thing, but there are women who think this way, which strikes me as a horrible betrayal of… well, your humanity. For an abusive man to make excuses for a crime he committed in his head is par for the course, but for women to more or less take the side of the abusive man over a helpless woman is appalling. And this is exactly what the whole Chris Brown fiasco is perpetuating.
If Chris Brown did a tour where a stadium full of women could line up to punch him in the face, then it would be cool for him to continue his career. As it stands, though, fuck him, and if you listen to his music - even in an ironic way - fuck you, too. Draw the line somewhere.
*Arguably the worst thing Chris Brown has done is give Rhianna a new lease on her career by riding this controversy back to the top of the charts. He’s given her at least five more years to release shitty, shitty music. That affects all of us. Stand up for your rights, people.