A PR department for the victims of domestic violence
February 12, 2012 10:26 AM   Subscribe


 
I'm not okay with Chris Brown performing at the Grammys, and I'm not sure why you are.

Assumes facts not in evidence.
posted by kenko at 10:29 AM on February 12, 2012 [20 favorites]


And, this week, Grammy producers confirmed that Chris Brown will be performing on Sunday’s show.

“We’re glad to have him back,” said executive producer Ken Ehrlich. “I think people deserve a second chance, you know. If you’ll note, he has not been on the Grammys for the past few years and it may have taken us a while to kind of get over the fact that we were the victim of what happened.”


Holy fuck.
posted by Think_Long at 10:31 AM on February 12, 2012 [125 favorites]


Although I think a large part of the internet rage machine not kicking in is because, really, the internet rage machine does not give a shit about the Grammys.
posted by Think_Long at 10:32 AM on February 12, 2012 [44 favorites]


Come on now. The focus of the Grammys will be a hastily assembled montage of Whitney Houston clips and the same people who made jokes about her will now pretend to be solemn.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:33 AM on February 12, 2012 [31 favorites]


So, people keep paying him to sing, because the attention that he gets as a felon who beat the shit out of his girlfriend translates into dollars for the entertainment industry. And that's the bottom line, for the people who make the decisions.

Which means, perversely, that him beating the shit out of Rihanna has been economically parlayed into entertainment.
posted by entropone at 10:37 AM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


well, after all, artists should be silenced if they don't meet societal expectations or break the law - and furthermore, self-appointed guardians of the public good should decide who gets silenced and for how long

obviously, being convicted and punished by our legal system is not enough
posted by pyramid termite at 10:38 AM on February 12, 2012 [20 favorites]


Come on now. The focus of the Grammys will be a hastily assembled montage of Whitney Houston clips

Doesn't that make it even worse?
posted by atrazine at 10:40 AM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I agree that people deserve a second chance. It’s great that we live in a country with a justice system that allows offenders to reclaim themselves and their lives after their sentence. I’m happy about that, and I hope Brown is a changed man at the end of his sentence.

And? You want to continue shaming people until the end of their days, like Hester Prynne? What can Chris Brown do with his life that would make you happy? Sheet metal? Janitorial? Farm work?

I fail to understand why the essay doesn't just stop right here, or change focus to a criminal justice system with priorities completely out of whack.

Surely, Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman would be alive today if the courts had taken domestic abuse seriously. But whether OJ kept his job with the NFL didn't have any bearing on that.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:41 AM on February 12, 2012 [13 favorites]


I don't know about the internet rage machine kicking in, I've already seen this posted three time on Twitter. I guess the people I follow on Twitter aren't really the Anon/Reddit/4chan crowd, though.
posted by maryr at 10:41 AM on February 12, 2012


As if we needed more evidence that the Grammys are a living, preening, clueless embodiment of everything wrong with the dying conventional music industry. But even by Grammy standards, that "victim" quote is an appalling little nugget of self-absorbed tone-deafness.
posted by gompa at 10:41 AM on February 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


It’s great that we live in a country with a justice system that allows offenders celebrities to reclaim themselves and their lives after their sentence.
posted by windbox at 10:41 AM on February 12, 2012 [41 favorites]


Wow I didn't even know Whitney Houston was dead. I think we need to start an obits meta or something to keep track.
posted by dobie at 10:42 AM on February 12, 2012


^not kicking in.
posted by maryr at 10:42 AM on February 12, 2012


I read the post and don't disagree with any of it, but most of it seems to be about peoples' reactions to the original incident (which were deplorable), and not Brown's post-abuse behavior. Again, I won't pretend to know everything about the guy, but it doesn't sound like he's done anything similar or made light of what he did since.

The whole thing reminds me of the Michael Vick story, with all obvious caveats. Both men did something horrible, have paid or are paying their subsequent debts to society, have expressed genuine remorse about their behavior, and folks otherwise inclined to forgive and forget insist that good, thinking people should refuse to watch them in their very public lines of work. Is it possible for these guys to redeem themselves, ever?

Also, the Grammys suck.
posted by downing street memo at 10:44 AM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Assumes facts not in evidence.


What facts, specifically? I did not see a counterfactual statement in the entire essay.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:45 AM on February 12, 2012


Presumably, the fact that "I" am OK with him performing.
posted by maryr at 10:46 AM on February 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


And? You want to continue shaming people until the end of their days, like Hester Prynne? What can Chris Brown do with his life that would make you happy? Sheet metal? Janitorial? Farm work?

That sounds about right to me.

I believe in second chances and rehabilitation, but, well, yes, I feel like this should have ended his career as a multimillionaire entertainer.

My eight year old daughter likes Chris Brown's music. Every time we're in the car listening to the radio and one of his songs comes on, I change the station and I tell her exactly why I'm changing it.

It's the one little thing I can do.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:48 AM on February 12, 2012 [92 favorites]


If you're not okay with Brown performing, you're not the "you" in the title.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:49 AM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, don't go lumping that Chris Brown in with us janitors and farm workers.

Those sheet metal assholes can go screw, though.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:50 AM on February 12, 2012 [39 favorites]


So, people keep paying him to sing, because the attention that he gets as a felon who beat the shit out of his girlfriend translates into dollars for the entertainment industry. And that's the bottom line, for the people who make the decisions.
You don't need to be that cynical. This guy was famous before he hit Rihanna, and I'm sure he's taken a hit in popularity because of it. But a lot of people just like his music. You can't control people's taste in music if they don't care about the things you care about.

The irony though is that if he had been a janitor or sheetmetal worker he might be totally fucked if he tried to get another job given the background checks every company does now, even for low paid work.
posted by delmoi at 10:51 AM on February 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


well, after all, artists should be silenced if they don't meet societal expectations or break the law

Oh, come on. This isn't a fucking Amnesty International case. No one's talking about "silencing" an "artist." We're talking about whether it's ethically acceptable to give the most notorious wife-beater in your business its biggest annual spotlight so he can sing to the world about how good he is at fucking women.

My answer on that one is that it's ethically appalling, it's slug-slime level low, and alas it's exactly what I expect from the sleaziest dark alley of the entertainment industrial complex. If it's in any way a free speech thing, then Ike Turner must be greatest martyr in the history of democracy.
posted by gompa at 10:52 AM on February 12, 2012 [128 favorites]


The fact that I will boycott the Grammies is actually evidence of why boycotts don't work: I was never going to watch, so no one will notice when I don't.
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:53 AM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Planned Parenthood, no doubt, has a well-funded and fine-tuned PR machine, adept at galvanizing a population against a perceived injustice. They outmaneuvered Komen easily.

I feel like maybe I'm misinterpreting the writer's intent here, but I am really grossed out by what seems like the suggestion that Planned Parenthood blew Komen's actions out of proportion with their magical PR machine. "Perceived injustice"? What?
posted by elizardbits at 10:54 AM on February 12, 2012 [26 favorites]


So I want to say this to anyone who is listening: This is not okay with me. A man hitting a woman in anger is unacceptable and is not easily forgotten or forgiven. A man who hits a woman in anger deserves to be reported to the authorities and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of who might be inconvenienced in the process. A man who hits a woman in anger may eventually be permitted to go on with his own life, but he is not permitted back in my life, even if it’s been three whole years.

I don't think it has been forgotten or forgiven. But the man was indeed processed by the legal system. I would have preferred to see some actual jail time, but it wasn't my call to make. If anyone doesn't like the fact that there hasn't been enough karmic retribution, they are free to not buy his music and not watch the Grammies, just like me.
posted by vidur at 10:56 AM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


It is a diary form of writing. All that "I used to be cruel to my woman, I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved" was me. I used to be cruel to my woman, and physically -- any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women. That is why I am always on about peace, you see. It is the most violent people who go for love and peace. Everything's the opposite. But I sincerely believe in love and peace. I am not violent man who has learned not to be violent and regrets his violence. I will have to be a lot older before I can face in public how I treated women as a youngster.
- John Lennon (link is to a Playboy interview, possibly NSFW)
posted by cyphill at 10:57 AM on February 12, 2012 [44 favorites]


I would have a lot more support for Brown if he came out with a s statement like Lennon's. Instead, he seems to behave like it's impossible that he did it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:01 AM on February 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


I would have a lot more support for Brown if he came out with a s statement like Lennon's.

I think Lennon was 40 years old when he gave that interview, Chris Brown is currently 22.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:05 AM on February 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


The entertainment industry moguls who are behaving as though Chris Brown were the victim in this situation are a lot older than 22.
posted by Phire at 11:08 AM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


I never understand this question.

If you read it as 'Why is this *still* on Metafilter' it makes a lot more sense.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:08 AM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why is this important?

Many of us find the celebration of an apparently remorseless aggressor by the industry that put both him and his victim in the spotlight (and then cast itself as the victim for the ordeal of having to publicly support her for two whole years) appalling.
posted by psoas at 11:09 AM on February 12, 2012 [15 favorites]


No one's talking about "silencing" an "artist."

they're saying he shouldn't be on the grammies

that IS silencing
posted by pyramid termite at 11:09 AM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


This article (more than the linked one, really) says why this matters:

Just after he beat Rihanna in 2009, the Boston Public Health Commission's Start Strong Initiative polled teens in Boston to see how they felt about the incident.

"Close to 50 percent of the young people we surveyed thought that Rihanna was actually responsible for the incident," says Casey Corcoran, the former director of Start Strong who led the poll. "They were blaming her."

And more than two years later, they still are.

Outside of a Chris Brown concert in Baltimore this past fall, almost a dozen teens interviewed still held some troubling views about "the incident."

"Obviously she played a part in getting beat, or whatever," said 19-year-old Kristina Coleman. "However you want to put it."

posted by carrienation at 11:10 AM on February 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


Not to excuse hitting Rihianna, but has Chris Brown been accused or suspected of hitting her at other times or hitting other women? If this is the only time he's hit a romantic partner I think shunning him is a little overboard.
posted by PJLandis at 11:10 AM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not OK with anyone performing at the Grammys, and I'm not sure why you are.
posted by Talez at 11:11 AM on February 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


If anyone doesn't like the fact that there hasn't been enough karmic retribution, they are free to not buy his music and not watch the Grammies, just like me.

We are also free to say that he shouldn't perform on the Grammy Awards.
posted by grouse at 11:11 AM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


delmoi: “You don't need to be that cynical. This guy was famous before he hit Rihanna, and I'm sure he's taken a hit in popularity because of it. But a lot of people just like his music. You can't control people's taste in music if they don't care about the things you care about. ”

This would work, except it's not Chris Brown's situation at all. "Look At Me Now" was the biggest hit he ever had, and that happened after the beatings and the charges and all that. And all of this is missing the subtext of the song "Look At Me Now," which is basically a celebration of the fact that he's making more money than ever, and ain't nobody (hint, hint) gonna keep him down.

Also, yeah, you can't control people's tastes. I completely agree with you on that. The trouble is – well, I get the feeling people in this thread don't really get how bad it really was. Popularly, Chris Brown was seen as this huge victim of a vindictive woman who tried to ruin his career. He was seen as this poor man whose reputation was being tarnished even though what he did wasn't that bad. That was the popular sense of it; he was defended vehemently by fans who said in so many words that Rihanna deserved every bit of what was coming to her, and Chris Brown was always the victim. That's the subtext of "Look At Me Now" – like, 'they tried to victimize me, but I have the last laugh on them because I'm the one with the lambo and all that at the end of the day.'

This is why Chris Brown is execrable. He has not for one moment internalized what happened. He acted all contrite, but when it came down he kept on repeating that tired excuse, "I don't even remember it happening, but I guess it must have, so I'm sorry." And even now, he gets royally pissed off when people ask him about it – as if he's "past it," so nobody else should ever be allowed to bring it up again.

And, yeah. I think he should be banned from the Grammys or whatever. The UK was smart enough to ban him; it's odd that a stupid award show doesn't have as much perspicacity as the UK government.
posted by koeselitz at 11:12 AM on February 12, 2012 [115 favorites]


Anyone expecting the entertainment industry to forgo profits because a female was hospitalized isn't paying attention. Off the top of my head, Ike Turner, Michael Vick, Mike Tyson, and Roman Polanski come to mind as glaring examples of the true moral rectitude of the entertainment business.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 11:12 AM on February 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


If this is the only time he's hit a romantic partner I think shunning him is a little overboard.

How many times should we let a man put someone in the hospital? What do you think is an acceptable limit?
posted by hermitosis at 11:13 AM on February 12, 2012 [51 favorites]


What if I say an artist shouldn't perform at Big Industry Event because they're a bad artist? Would that be silencing?

Presumably to those who care and those in the industry, performing at the Grammys is an honour. I have no issue with people liking his music. I have an issue with him being honoured.

That's a pretty far cry from being censored. A little perspective, please.
posted by Phire at 11:13 AM on February 12, 2012 [26 favorites]


The Grammys should just present and televise all 78 (formerly 110!) music categories in rapid succession, forgoing all performances. It would make it a lot more entertaining.
posted by steamynachos at 11:14 AM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Presumably to those who care and those in the industry, performing at the Grammys is an honour. I have no issue with people liking his music. I have an issue with him being honoured.

Repeating this, just for emphasis.
posted by hermitosis at 11:15 AM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


What does Rihanna think about it?
posted by empath at 11:16 AM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think Lennon was 40 years old when he gave that interview, Chris Brown is currently 22.

Lennon was dead at 40, so I think you may be wrongly dating the interview. And he doesn't say at what age he felt regret, and when he decided to be different. 22 is old enough to request that somebody take stock of actions that caused a suspended sentence and hospitalized a woman they supposedly loved.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:16 AM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


pyramid termite: “obviously, being convicted and punished by our legal system is not enough”

No, it's not. Our "legal system" isn't perfect at rehabilitation, as the Chris Brown case demonstrates clearly. He's never apologized for beating Rihanna (he's apologized for "what happened," saying he doesn't remember it clearly, because "it was all a blur") and – most importantly – he's never made it clear to his fans that what he did was wrong. In fact, he's led them to believe that he's a victim in all this, because people "bring past shit up" in order to tear him down.

You're willfully ignoring the sociological implications of honoring a guy like Chris Brown.
posted by koeselitz at 11:17 AM on February 12, 2012 [13 favorites]


i think it's hard to argue that this is the result the first time a man hits his romantic partner.

but, i do wonder where rihanna fits in all this. i know the relationship between abuser and victim is a hard one, and victims often go back to their abusers, but she's said multiple times that he should still be able to earn as an entertainer, that she likes his music, that she's forgiven him and she's moved on (although there are rumors that they're back together).
posted by nadawi at 11:20 AM on February 12, 2012


WTH?! There is no fucking way I'm watching the Grammys tonight.

Seriously, Downton Abbey is on.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:20 AM on February 12, 2012 [13 favorites]


Walking Dead, bitches.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:21 AM on February 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


No one is letting him do anything, banning him from the Grammy's isn't stopping any domestic abuse. If you think it's supporting a domestic abuser, then I get your objection, but that was unfair to accuse me of calling his actions acceptable.
posted by PJLandis at 11:21 AM on February 12, 2012


Walking Dead, bitches.

That's not a nice thing to say about the Beach Boys.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:21 AM on February 12, 2012 [17 favorites]


oops, add italics.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:22 AM on February 12, 2012


I think Lennon was 40 years old when he gave that interview, Chris Brown is currently 22.

Amazingly enough, I understood that beating the shit out of women was terribly wrong at an even younger age than that. Most men do. I mean, it's not the second law of thermodynamics we're talking about here.
posted by gompa at 11:22 AM on February 12, 2012 [42 favorites]


The music industry IS the walking dead.
posted by Renoroc at 11:22 AM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm not okay with Chris Brown performing at the Grammys, and I'm not sure why you are.

This is a music awards show, not an interview with St. Peter, not the award show for the Nobel Peace Prize, or even a show that recognizes community service.

Chris Brown is a musician, and that's why he is performing. I can't stand the little smarmy f***er, but he sure can dance.

If we were going to rule society like this, I'd like to find out the relationship status of people in business, politics, science, journalists and poets.

I'm pretty sure poets are the worst offenders of relationship violence.

You're willfully ignoring the sociological implications of honoring a guy like Chris Brown.

That reminds me. Can't forget the sociologists either.
posted by karathrace at 11:22 AM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Lennon was dead at 40, so I think you may be wrongly dating the interview. And he doesn't say at what age he felt regret, and when he decided to be different.

Lennon was born in 1940 and recorded the song in 1967, so he would have probably been 27 when he recorded it.

That said, he first met Yoko Ono in 66 and divorced Cynthia for her in 68, so was probably *still* being cruel to his woman when he wrote and recorded that song.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:26 AM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


karathrace: “If we were going to rule society like this, I'd like to find out the relationship status of people in business, politics, science, journalists and poets. I'm pretty sure poets are the worst offenders of relationship violence.”

me: “You're willfully ignoring the sociological implications of honoring a guy like Chris Brown.”

karathrace: “That reminds me. Can't forget the sociologists either.”

Gosh, what a terrible society that would be! There would be a lot less domestic violence, sure – but no poetry! Heaven forfend!
posted by koeselitz at 11:26 AM on February 12, 2012


A man hitting a woman in anger is unacceptable and is not easily forgotten or forgiven. A man who hits a woman in anger deserves to be reported to the authorities and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of who might be inconvenienced in the process.

So, she needs to be working full-time to keep any and all plea bargaining from taking place in domestic violence cases, regardless of the public cost of the increased number of court trials which will be required.

Anything else in this essay is just her wanting to sew a scarlet letter for him to wear, and is her anger that others aren't willing to take up a needle and help.
posted by hippybear at 11:27 AM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Many people here have my feelings nailed.

Bobby Brown did something bad, but it's certainly not so bad that one couldn't forgive him if he showed the slightest remorse.

For example, I detested Jim Bakker, but when he went to jail, the videos of him abjectly weeping were quite moving - and it's interesting that when he was in jail he actually read the Bible completely for the first time and said, "The more I studied the Bible, however, I had to admit that the prosperity message did not line up with the tenor of Scripture. My heart was crushed to think that I led so many people astray. I was appalled that I could have been so wrong, and I was deeply grateful that God had not struck me dead as a false prophet!"

In fact, most normal mammals - not even just humans - will stop attacking another individual of the same species if that individual completely surrenders.

Bobby Brown has shown no remorse. He's a walking advertisement, and the message is, "The bitch had it coming." Even if he had the talent of a Menuhin or a Hendrix, he'd be hard to tolerate - since he's just a reasonably talented but not particularly distinguished pop singer there's no excuse for anyone giving him a moment of their time.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:27 AM on February 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


This part is pretty weird:
We were so mad when the Komen Foundation pulled its funding for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood. “This is not fair,” we shouted. “This is not fair to women, and this is not fair to the women who don’t have a voice, and we will not allow it.” We shouted it so loudly that Komen reversed its decision in three days. We forced the resignation of one of their top executives.

Planned Parenthood, no doubt, has a well-funded and fine-tuned PR machine, adept at galvanizing a population against a perceived injustice. They outmaneuvered Komen easily.

Does domestic violence have a less sophisticated PR machine than Chris Brown does?
The Komen thing would have affected hundreds of thousands of women on an ongoing basis, and the target market for this was mostly women as well. The thing with Rihanna and Chris Brown only directed affected the two of them, and she's not making a big deal about it herself. Chris Brown's fans obviously don't care, unlike most of the people who support Komen.
Also, yeah, you can't control people's tastes. I completely agree with you on that. The trouble is – well, I get the feeling people in this thread don't really get how bad it really was. Popularly, Chris Brown was seen as this huge victim of a vindictive woman who tried to ruin his career. He was seen as this poor man whose reputation was being tarnished even though what he did wasn't that bad.
Yeah, I don't really know that much about it. From the link you sent, he doesn't sound remoseful at all.
Following the incident, Brown Tweeted, “I’m so over people bring this past s**t up!! Yet we praise Charlie sheen and other celebs for [their] bullsh**t”
Minutes later, he deleted the Tweet, replacing it with “All my fans!!! This album is for you and only you!!! I’m so tired of everyone else!! Honestly!! I love team breezy!!
Sheen actually did scare a hooker into a closet or something (but that didn't cause him to get fired) But I don't think he put anyone in the hospital.
posted by delmoi at 11:27 AM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]



Bobby Brown has shown no remorse. He's a walking advertisement, and the message is, "The bitch had it coming." Even if he had the talent of a Menuhin or a Hendrix, he'd be hard to tolerate - since he's just a reasonably talented but not particularly distinguished pop singer there's no excuse for anyone giving him a moment of their time.
Uh dude we're talking about Chris brown.
posted by delmoi at 11:29 AM on February 12, 2012 [11 favorites]


Bobby Brown has shown no remorse.

Bobby Brown? When was he brought into this discussion about Chris Brown?
posted by hippybear at 11:29 AM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is it "Ghostbusters 2"?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:31 AM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Seriously, Downton Abbey is on.

Walking Dead, bitches.


Walking Dead at DowntoN Abbey you say? Oh yes, I should like to see Lady Gratham deal with the undead.

"Heavens, these creatures! Must be from all the vapors from that horrid electricity, did I not warn all of you?!"

"Carson, do put Mrs. Crowley out on the south lawn for bait and arm the footmen. Mind the rose bushes, please. Mr Mosely has worked so hard the past year. "
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:31 AM on February 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


From the police report [PDF]. "Robyn F." is Rihanna.
A verbal argument ensued and Brown pulled the vehicle over on an unknown street, reached over Robyn F. with his right hand, opened the car door and attempted to force her out. Brown was unable to force Robyn F. out of the vehicle because she was wearing a seat belt. When he could not force her to exit, he took his right hand and shoved her head against he passenger window of the vehicle, causing an approximate one-inch raised circular contusion.

Robyn F. turned to face Brown and he punched her in the left eye with his right hand. He then drove away in the vehicle and continued to punch her in the face with his right hand while steering the vehicle with his left hand. The assault caused Robyn F.'s mouth to fill with blood and blood to splatter all over her clothing and the interior of the vehicle.

Brown looked at Robyn F. and stated, 'I'm going to beat the sh-- out of you when we get home! You wait and see!'
"Robyn F." then used her cell phone to call her personal assistant, who did not answer.
Robyn F. pretended to talk to her and stated, 'I'm on my way home. Make sure the police are there when I get there.'

After Robyn F. faked the call, Brown looked at her and stated, 'You just did the stupidest thing ever! Now I'm really going to kill you!'

Brown resumed punching Robyn F. and she interlocked her fingers behind her head and brought her elbows forward to protect her face. She then bent over at the waist, placing her elbows and face near her lap in [an] attempt to protect her face and head from the barrage of punches being levied upon her by Brown.

Brown continued to punch Robyn F. on her left arm and hand, causing her to suffer a contusion on her left triceps (sic) that was approximately two inches in diameter and numerous contusions on her left hand.

Robyn F. then attempted to send a text message to her other personal assistant, Melissa Ford. Brown snatched the cellular telephone out of her hand and threw it out of the window onto an unknown street.

Brown continued driving and Robyn F. observed his cellular telephone sitting in his lap. She picked up the cellular telephone with her left hand and before she could make a call he placed her in a head lock with his right hand and continued to drive the vehicle with his left hand.

Brown pulled Robyn F. close to him and bit her on her left ear. She was able to feel the vehicle swerving from right to left as Brown sped away. He stopped the vehicle in front of 333 North June Street and Robyn F. turned off the car, removed the key from the ignition and sat on it.

Brown did not know what she did with the key and began punching her in the face and arms. He then placed her in a head lock positioning the front of her throat between his bicep and forearm. Brown began applying pressure to Robyn F.'s left and right carotid arteries, causing her to be unable to breathe and she began to lose consciousness.

She reached up with her left hand and began attempting to gouge his eyes in an attempt to free herself. Brown bit her left ring and middle fingers and then released her. While Brown continued to punch her, she turned around and placed her back against the passenger door. She brought her knees to her chest, placed her feet against Brown's body and began pushing him away. Brown continued to punch her on the legs and feet, causing several contusions.

Robyn F. began screaming for help and Brown exited the vehicle and walked away.
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:31 AM on February 12, 2012 [122 favorites]


Bobby Brown did something

He did, but it was his prerogative. He's can do what he's gonna do. And he's doing it just for you.
posted by hippybear at 11:34 AM on February 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


But whether OJ kept his job with the NFL didn't have any bearing on that.

I think it's OK to impose higher standards on well-compensated celebrities. Even if Chris Brown were best performer of our time, I think being a violent offender limits the praise he deserves. There are plenty of other entertainers out there who would like my support, attention, and money---and most of them AREN'T domestic abusers. I'm 100% OK if this translates to hearing inferior songs on the radio. The nature of celebrity is that one is subject to the court of public opinion, in addition to our legal system. Chris Brown's career doesn't need to be protected from the public reaction to domestic abuse.
posted by almostmanda at 11:34 AM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


just gonna leave this here
posted by koeselitz at 11:35 AM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


well i think it's just terrible what james brown did
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:37 AM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hah, yes, Chris Brown. I was listening to Zappa's Bobby Brown recently and those lyrics (text is NSFW) are stuck in my head... :-D
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:38 AM on February 12, 2012


The interview was in 1980. Lennon, born 1940, died in December the same year.

And it's irrelevant how cognizant mefites were at 22 or any other age since that discussion was about Lennon and how badly he treated woman in his youth.

But yeah. Brown is crap precisely because he refuses to acknowledge what he did. Should celebrities have to publicly show remorse? Yes, I think so. Lots of kids look up to Chris Brown and they need to hear what he did, why it was wrong and that he's sorry. I think that's what bothers people, his apparent lack of remorse when he's such a public figure.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:39 AM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thank you for sharing the contents of that police report. It's so amazingly damning. I wish that everyone who defends his actions or complains about the backlash would read it.
posted by hermitosis at 11:41 AM on February 12, 2012 [46 favorites]


The thing that is most upsetting to me isn't that Brown is playing the Grammys despite the fact that he beat the shit out of a woman. The bigger problem is that it feels like Brown is playing the Grammys because he beat the shit out of a (famous) woman. I can't shake the feeling that his commercial success is rooted in his role as a tabloid figure. Which would be fine if his role wasn't as villain.
posted by I Foody at 11:42 AM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Grammies are an event for celebrities to celebrate themselves and one another. Chris Brown does not deserve celebration--though perhaps his music does. If he were singing at an event that was not an awards show, Live 8 or something, I don't think anyone would really care.
posted by LogicalDash at 11:44 AM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


no, Grammys, fuck your spelling.
posted by LogicalDash at 11:46 AM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


From the police report [PDF]. "Robyn F." is Rihanna.

"Robyn F." is my dang hero -- based on that description, she showed about 500 tons more quick thinking, self-defense, and sheer raw courage than I would have been able to muster in that situation.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:49 AM on February 12, 2012 [55 favorites]


Bobby Brown? When was he brought into this discussion about Chris Brown?

Well, actually, I was about to, and not because "They all look alike." It does seem kind of sad that at a Grammy celebration during which presumably we'll be asked to remember the life of Whitney Houston, who once suffered domestic abuse at the hands of Bobby Brown (however distraught he may be at her passing), we'll be expected to enjoy a performance by another domestic abuser.
posted by limeonaire at 11:51 AM on February 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


For those of you wondering, those of us who think Chris Brown is a shitbag think so because he has shown zero remorse, has not shown (at least publicly) that he has learned a thing from what happened, and he has been forgiven all too quickly by a music/entertainment industry that is willing to turn a blind eye to what happened because the kid can sing and dance a bit and makes a lot of money.

All of that would be depressing but a sad fact of life were it not also for the fact that he has insanely loyal fans (just check the trending topics on Twitter every other week or so) that are predominantly composed of teenage girls, many of whom think it was primarily Rihanna's fault for what happened.

So maybe Chris Brown isn't to blame for these problems we have with him but he's the most visible presence and the one that it's easiest to do something about by NOT holding him up like some incredible story of redemption.
posted by HostBryan at 11:51 AM on February 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


Anything else in this essay is just her wanting to sew a scarlet letter for him to wear

This why-ya-gotta-shame-poor-Chris-Brown meme has popped up at least twice in this thread. As a bit of remedial English lit, I'd just like to note that Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter was about a decent and moral woman trying desperately to win back the trust of her community after being convicted of adultery. It's about the way the religiously driven legal and social codes of Puritan Massachusetts ruined the lives of women out of their fear of female sexuality.

Whereas Chris Brown beat the living shit out of his girlfriend and threatened to kill her and then served a laughably sentence for it and still makes millions bragging about his sexual prowess.

It's an interesting take on the Hawthorne story, to be sure, but I'm really not seeing where the themes overlap.
posted by gompa at 11:58 AM on February 12, 2012 [109 favorites]


This is why we let the justice system handle this. None of us was there. None of us sat in that courtroom and heard testimony.

Mob justice is not justice.

I barely know anything about the incident or the people involved, but at least I know I don't know anything about it.

There's an entire industry dedicated to fooling people into thinking they know people they never have met.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:58 AM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


I am not clear on what you're describing as mob justice. If it's people expressing displeasure that Brown is appearing at an awards ceremony, than I am not clear on what galls you so much.

As to what we know happened: That Brown beat Rihanna is disputed by nobody, even Brown, who simply says he doesn't remember it. It's not as though there is a great deal of uncertainty in this case.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:03 PM on February 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


part of the reason chris brown's punishment was so very light is that at every turn rihanna and her lawyers worked with and supported chris brown. it's not just famous man gets a light sentence for beating his woman. her story is important here too.
posted by nadawi at 12:03 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Preventing someone from performing at an awards show is not "mob justice."
posted by modernserf at 12:04 PM on February 12, 2012 [21 favorites]


they're saying he shouldn't be on the grammies

that IS silencing


Perhaps, but I don't think that anyone is suggesting that he should never be allowed to record another album or perform another concert. No one is suggesting anything more than "silencing" him in this one particular instance, the author of the FPP certainly isn't.
posted by asnider at 12:09 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have also been silenced, as I was not even asked to perform at the Grammys.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:13 PM on February 12, 2012 [25 favorites]


Grammies? We don't need no stinkin' Grammies.
posted by thinkpiece at 12:15 PM on February 12, 2012


But yeah. Brown is crap precisely because he refuses to acknowledge what he did.

Oh I'm pretty sure he's crap regardless of whether he acknowledges or not.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:17 PM on February 12, 2012


The Grammies are an event for celebrities to celebrate themselves and one another.

I'm not a celebrity, so I can hardly comment on whether it's proper to have invited brown to perform.

But it's clear that many people think the criminal justice system is broken: perpetrators with whom the courts have dealt are not thereby cleared. Perhaps Brown's sentence should have included a stipulation that he never again perform in public, or that he leave the country. Maybe he should have been imprisoned for life. What would it take to satisfy public opinion?
posted by fredludd at 12:17 PM on February 12, 2012


I work in a domestic abuse prevention agency, and unless you have had significant experience dealign with the actions of victims and their abusers, it can be very confusing to understand why somebody who has been severely beaten and had her life threatened would want to help protect her abuser. It is also difficult to really understand the serious consequences of letting abusers off the hook, especially when they are public figures that little kids look up to.

Domestic abuse is more than somebody losing their temper and hitting their partner (although that is certainly not OK in any situation). Domestic abuse is a deliberate pattern of control and manipulation by the abuser, escalating in severity. The more you hear women describe their partners, the more it seems as if they are talking about the same person. The behaviors and techniques used to slowly control their partner, the excuses, the lies, the physical and emotional abuse.

I know that I wasn't there, and that I don't know either celebrity personally. But from my experience, there is no way this was an isolated event. This wasn't a man losing his temper, this was a man doing everything he could to gain physical control over another human being. Abusers don't typically respond well at all to counseling or therapy.

I would love to be wrong, but I don't think this is the last time we're going to hear about this man's abusive nature. And maybe he had a fucked up childhood, maybe this was how his parents treated him, maybe this is the only way that he knows how to love and he's just doing his goddamned best. Lots of abusers do. They really, truly believe that their actions are justified and they will never ever concede that they have done anything wrong, even in the face of the most indisputable logic you could hope to provide. But as much as I believe in forgiveness and the power of people to change, I would never ever trust somebody who has exhibited that level of violence. 90% of the time, abusers don't change. Most of them can't.
posted by pugh at 12:19 PM on February 12, 2012 [38 favorites]


> Zappa's Bobby Brown

Okay, I've listened to that for the first time. In a nutshell, what is the context that led to that being written/recorded, anyone?
posted by Listener at 12:19 PM on February 12, 2012


> What would it take to satisfy public opinion?

What it should take is a genuine display of remorse, some evidence that the criminal has learned something from his mistakes. This seems pretty obvious and is mentioned a dozen times in the comments above.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:20 PM on February 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


Celebrities get passes for a lot of things. When Kobe Bryant was accused of rape, I was shocked at how many women in my office volunteered the information that they believed he was "set up." I was also shocked at how many women brought up the subject without prompting. I don't know, maybe I'm easily shocked or just worked at a shocking office.

My guilty-pleasure gossip blogs are all currently abuzz about the possibility of Rihanna and Chris Brown getting back together. I can intellectually understand the idea that two people with a physical history like that can reconcile. Viscerally, it sickens me that there is a possibility that a victim will look at Rihanna and Brown and decide to stay in an abusive situation based on that example. There is practically nothing I can do to resolve this conflict in myself except write about it on the internet. *sigh*
posted by infinitewindow at 12:22 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


They should just show the Bodyguard in lieu of the Grammy's this year.
posted by AugustWest at 12:24 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bobby Brown goes down is from 1979 and has nothing to do with Whitney's Bobby Brown it seems? So I've just been on a wild goose chase I guess.
posted by Listener at 12:29 PM on February 12, 2012


Re: Bobby Brown - I'm not sure why it was made - no doubt part of Zappa's continuing exploration with exploring the edges of free speech - but here are some explanations of the terms, if you need them.

What's a little irksome is in later years, Zappa changed one of the lyrics from: "Got a job, doing radio promo/and none of the jocks can even tell I'm a homo," to, "Got a job doin' radio promo
And none of the jocks even think about tonso," which doesn't even make sense. Presumably it's to avoid the gay slur, but I'd call that song a pretty well equal opportunity slur on all humans.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:31 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


What it should take is a genuine display of remorse, some evidence that the criminal has learned something from his mistakes.

In other words, you're looking for theater.

I'd prefer less shaming but more jail time.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:32 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, yes, and has nothing whatsoever to do with Whitney's Bobby Brown. As someone points out, that song is over 30 years old so I have much more of an association with that than anything else.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:33 PM on February 12, 2012


Cool Papa Bell: In other words, you're looking for theater.

In other words, we're looking for evidence of actual rehabilitation.
posted by Dysk at 12:34 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


> In other words, you're looking for theater.

Are you saying you honestly prefer that Brown is publicly unrepentant?

> I'd prefer less shaming but more jail time.

That would be even better, but we aren't getting that.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:37 PM on February 12, 2012


And for him not to express his anger over being reminded of the incident by breaking other people's windows.
posted by radwolf76 at 12:37 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Normally, I am 100% for rehabilitation, but in the case of DV I am a full supporter of jail time. Rehabilitation is pretty much ineffective, and even protective orders don't do much to keep determined abusers away. The only thing I've seen that actually works is education (for the victim, although this is a slow process), accountability, and, if it is a seriously lethal situation, as much jail time as you can give out.
posted by pugh at 12:38 PM on February 12, 2012


I'm not in favour of him performing, mainly on the grounds that he's shite.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:41 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


So many people seem to have a hard time separating "legal consequences" from "public disapproval." They're not the same. Whether Brown was punished enough legally speaking is a legal matter. Whether he should be publicly disapproved of, or shamed, for what he did is not.

And yeah, it's ok to shame someone for doing something that is actually wrong. I would not shake Dick Cheney's hand, though he'll never serve time for all the crimes he bears responsibility for. Nor Roman Polanski's. Or Brown's. Because they did reprehensible things for which they are not sorry, and suffered very little in consequence, while their victims continue to suffer.
posted by emjaybee at 12:42 PM on February 12, 2012 [22 favorites]


To everyone asking 'so how long in the dark would be long enough for you people' - longer than it has been. Christ, he's still on probation - he was sentenced to five years of it in 2009. That is to say, he's currently serving part of his sentence for that crime. At the very least wait until he's served out his sentence.
posted by Dysk at 12:44 PM on February 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


All of that would be depressing but a sad fact of life were it not also for the fact that he has insanely loyal fans (just check the trending topics on Twitter every other week or so) that are predominantly composed of teenage girls, many of whom think it was primarily Rihanna's fault for what happened.

An email discussion happened at work a while ago involving Rihanna, and one response from a female said 'Anyway, I bet she wasn't blameless, there are two sides to every story!' I can remember that verbatim as it annoyed me enough to have to walk away from the computer before I fired off a response I'd forget. When I was 22 my then-boyfriend offered the choice of shutting up or having a kettle of boiling water poured over my head...but what upset me the most is that he never said sorry and would always say it was my fault for provoking him. I wonder how many of these teenage girls have heard the same thing, or will say it to their friends or family.
posted by mippy at 12:45 PM on February 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


It never ceases to amaze me how people get their knickers in a twist about the idea that violence against women/people is really, really not ok. People have arguments, sure. People have ugly, screaming, gut-wrenching verbal conflict. But actually physically harming somebody is a different, and unacceptable thing.

Also, Jesus Christ why is Roman Polanski a free man.
posted by HotPants at 1:01 PM on February 12, 2012 [14 favorites]


What's an apology worth? Bernie Madoff apologized. I believe that the United States apologizes every time it's proven beyond a doubt that it bombed a wedding ceremony. How would we know that any show of remorse is genuine? As Ironmouth said, "There's an entire industry dedicated to fooling people into thinking they know people they never have met."

Nah, I think I'll stand by my observation that the criminal justice system is broken.
posted by fredludd at 1:11 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chris Brown is currently 22.

This makes me feel really, really old.

Also, Jesus Christ why is Roman Polanski a free man.

Simple. He served his sentence he was charged with, and only after did a judge (who was sketchy as hell if you look him up) decide he didn't serve enough time and then all this crap started. The prosecutor and defender both agreed on his first sentence, he went to jail, served it, got out and now he "didn't serve enough time". It would be like if you got arrested for pot possession, got a year in jail, while in jail and about to get out the public perception of what you did got worse, and when you get out you were told the judge decided you needed to be sentenced to much longer. Kind of repeating myself here, but that is why he is free. He did his time.
posted by usagizero at 1:13 PM on February 12, 2012


part of the reason chris brown's punishment was so very light is that at every turn rihanna and her lawyers worked with and supported chris brown. it's not just famous man gets a light sentence for beating his woman. her story is important here too.

In addition to the rumors that they'd continued to see one another in spite of the court order, there has also been bizarre speculation on the reason for the argument. That detail was not included in the verbiage from the police report posted upstream. If the speculation is true, perhaps that is why Rihanna apparently has assumed some of the responsibility for what happened (although there is absolutely no justification for that kind of violence) and has given at least her legal support to Brown in this matter. Then again, maybe she's just as disturbed as he seemingly is.
posted by fuse theorem at 1:16 PM on February 12, 2012


I love how the police report aboiut 3 white kids is not true and the one about a black man is.

We know nothing of the truth of these matters. Brown could have done it or not done it. We are so sure because an industry based on sensationalism said so.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:20 PM on February 12, 2012


I barely know anything about the incident or the people involved, but at least I know I don't know anything about it.

Comments like this are exactly why I'm glad the contents of the police report were posted in this thread. What happened has been legally documented, and while surely that's not a perfect system, Brown doesn't continue to denounce them -- he merely hopes people will forget them, or at the very least stop talking about them.
posted by hermitosis at 1:22 PM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm imagining this as an AskMe: "I'm supposed to go to an awards show tonight, but I know that one of the honorees once beat his girlfriend hard enough to send her to the hospital. I feel like I should say something, but is it really appropriate to do so?"

And that thread would be going very, very differently from this one.
posted by sonika at 1:34 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


[Roman Polanski] served his sentence he was charged with, and only after did a judge (who was sketchy as hell if you look him up) decide he didn't serve enough time and then all this crap started.

Polanski was never sentenced to any time. He served 42 days as part of a psychiatric evaluation, which everyone involved in the process knew was only an evaluation preliminary to sentencing.
posted by Etrigan at 1:34 PM on February 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


He served his sentence he was charged with

This is a lie. Roman Polanski raped a 13 year old girl, and is a fugitive from justice. Much of Hollywood thinks he's fabulous. Fuck him, and anyone who supports that shit.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 1:46 PM on February 12, 2012 [30 favorites]


Rihanna was beaten.

Also, Chris Brown apologized
posted by P.o.B. at 1:49 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


The trivializing language here is amazing. Beating women is just a failure to "meet societal expectations", something that's just about one's "relationship status." After all, it's something that "only direct[ly] affected the two of them", not a problem that concerns society as a whole or anything. Only a People-obsessed celebrity worshipper duped by "an entire industry dedicated to fooling people into thinking they know people they never have met", "an industry based on sensationalism" would care about this.

We get it. Threats against women's lives are sensational tabloid trash that should be relegated to the private sphere.
posted by Ralston McTodd at 1:49 PM on February 12, 2012 [13 favorites]


there has also been bizarre speculation on the reason for the argument. That detail was not included in the verbiage from the police report posted upstream

I'm not really sure what you're talking about, but here's the relevant line from the police report, which is a sentence before the previous excerpt:

"Brown was driving a vehicle with Robyn F. as the front passenger on an unknown street in Los Angeles. Robyn F. picked up Brown's cellular phone and observed a three-page text message from a woman who Brown had a previous sexual relationship with. A verbal argument ensued and Brown pulled the vehicle over..." etc.
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:50 PM on February 12, 2012


So an unrelated upper-class white women thinks she should be the one to decide on the punishment of black people because the criminal justice system isn't sufficiently stacked against them?
posted by patrick54 at 1:57 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe I'm a little touchy about this, here, but who the fuck CARES what the verbal altercation was about? She could have been insulting his mother for the past three hours for all I care, that does NOT in any way constitute provocation for trying to push her out of a car, beat her until she coughs up blood, and threaten to kill her for calling the police. How is that even RELEVANT?
posted by Phire at 1:57 PM on February 12, 2012 [58 favorites]


Interesting to mention Polanski. In 1994 he adapted Ariel Dorfman's phenomenal play "Death and the Maiden" to film; it's the story of a woman who was serially raped while being held as a political prisoner who lucks into a chance to confront the man who she suspects was her primary assailant. It's fantastically explicit and emotionally cathartic.

I'm not a Polanski apologist, and I'm not going to say that this counts as rehabilitation, but there is no way that Polanski could do justice to this play and its subject matter (and I believe he did) without doing some real soul searching, and I can only IMAGINE the kinds of intense, frank conversations held with producers, cast, and PR people throughout the project. So, there's that.
posted by hermitosis at 1:59 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


So an unrelated upper-class white women thinks she should be the one to decide on the punishment of black people because the criminal justice system isn't sufficiently stacked against them?

Dude, if you're gonna play the race card, you should check first to make sure the people in the room are even playing cards.
posted by gompa at 2:00 PM on February 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


And really, framing the opinion of an internet blogger against a multibillion dollar rock star who has barely been seen any consequences for serious assault and hospitalizing a woman as "upper middle class white chick vs. black guy at the mercy of the justice system" is just about as the most disingenuous way possible of reading this.

You're worse than the guy who called sociologists rapists, and that set a pretty high bar to clear.
posted by Phire at 2:03 PM on February 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


I'm not really sure what you're talking about, but here's the relevant line from the police report, which is a sentence before the previous excerpt:

Thanks. I only read what was posted here and obviously did not follow the link. Nevertheless, that's not the reason for the argument that I've read elsewhere. Of course, the stuff elsewhere may be untrue, and what was in the police report may not be the whole story.

Maybe I'm a little touchy about this, here, but who the fuck CARES what the verbal altercation was about? She could have been insulting his mother for the past three hours for all I care, that does NOT in any way constitute provocation for trying to push her out of a car, beat her until she coughs up blood, and threaten to kill her for calling the police. How is that even RELEVANT?

It's most definitely not a justification for what Brown did but it might explain why she has continued to support him and perhaps has resumed a relationship with him, other than the most common victim/abuser dynamics.
posted by fuse theorem at 2:08 PM on February 12, 2012


vidur: I don't think it has been forgotten or forgiven. But the man was indeed processed by the legal system. I would have preferred to see some actual jail time, but it wasn't my call to make. If anyone doesn't like the fact that there hasn't been enough karmic retribution, they are free to not buy his music and not watch the Grammies, just like me.

grouse: We are also free to say that he shouldn't perform on the Grammy Awards.


Of course we all are. I wasn't trying to imply otherwise.
posted by vidur at 2:10 PM on February 12, 2012


You're willfully ignoring the sociological implications of honoring a guy like Chris Brown.

and you're willfully ignoring the political and sociological implications of saying that people with certain marks against their record shouldn't be on industry awards shows - maybe they shouldn't be allowed to make records - maybe they shouldn't be played on the radio - maybe we should include drug convictions and other felonies to disqualify people

hmm, maybe we could blacklist them if they've ever been associated with communists, too ...

and isn't that's what's being suggested here? - a new brand of mccarthyism?

throw him in jail for his offenses, sure - express your disgust with his actions, sure

but judge the art for what it is woth and let the artist's industry do the same
posted by pyramid termite at 2:10 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Beating women is just a failure to "meet societal expectations"

or "breaking the law" - nice selective quoting, there

but there's a specific reason i put it like that - and it was not to minimize his deplorable actions, but to make the point that others could find themselves kicked off of awards shows for other transgressions

it's too much like blacklisting and i'm against it
posted by pyramid termite at 2:15 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


When you hold up someone as an example of a role model--and that IS what a performance slot at a major awards ceremony implies--it ceases to be JUST about his art. How could it be? When you tell people that Chris Brown is the epitome of what success in the industry looks like, how can you tell them to ignore his reprehensible personal behaviour?

We don't want his records seized and his assets frozen. Just for people to recognize that in certain instances, ignoring the social message you're sending can be harmful.

I love Ender's Game with all my heart. If Orson Scott Card were invited to give out, say, the Newberry, I would be furious as well.
posted by Phire at 2:15 PM on February 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


"I love how the police report aboiut 3 white kids is not true and the one about a black man is."

"So an unrelated upper-class white women thinks she should be the one to decide on the punishment of black people because the criminal justice system isn't sufficiently stacked against them?"

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no - fuck no! Black men don't get to beat us either. And unlike Chris Brown, most of them would never dream of it - let alone of using their blackness as an excuse for such fucked up, evil behaviour.

Frankly, black teenage girls need better role models. The things I've heard out of this group in particular regarding this incident, blaming and hating Rihanna for what she "made him do", make my heart hurt.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 2:15 PM on February 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


> What would it take to satisfy public opinion?

What it should take is a genuine display of remorse, some evidence that the criminal has learned something from his mistakes. This seems pretty obvious and is mentioned a dozen times in the comments above.


In that case let me direct you to the numerous Michael Vick threads that have been posted to Metafilter over the years where people have made similar "I would forgive him if he just did Thing A, B, C or D to prove he was contrite" and then, when shown evidence that Vick had already done all of those things, they responded with some variation of, "Well, clearly all of that was just for publicity so it doesn't count".

I'm not trying to defend Brown here in any way, but let's not pretend that many people who think he should be permanently shunned by the music industry would feel any different if he had gone through the proper motions of showing remorse.
posted by The Gooch at 2:21 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


When you hold up someone as an example of a role model--and that IS what a performance slot at a major awards ceremony implies

and that is a corruption of what art and the artist should be in our world

you'd think that we as a society would have gained the maturity and wisdom necessary to understand that just because a person is a great sports player or a great musician or whatever doesn't mean he's a great person - and that we shouldn't be so surprised or indignant when prominent people like this turn out to do bad things

we need to grow up and stop holding people up on pedestals
posted by pyramid termite at 2:21 PM on February 12, 2012


and you're willfully ignoring the political and sociological implications of saying that people with certain marks against their record shouldn't be on industry awards shows - maybe they shouldn't be allowed to make records - maybe they shouldn't be played on the radio - maybe we should include drug convictions and other felonies to disqualify people

hmm, maybe we could blacklist them if they've ever been associated with communists, too ...

and isn't that's what's being suggested here? - a new brand of mccarthyism?


Nope. Sorry. Severely beating someone and threatening to kill them is very different than using drugs or ascribing to a political school of thought. Part of pop music is enjoying the artist's image and public life as part of their act. Most artist's music is mediocre, and sales are driven by what is going on with their lives. I'd say it is relatively impossible to separate Chris Brown from what he did, and the record companies KNOW that. In fact, they are taking advantage of it to make sales.
posted by pugh at 2:23 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Most modern pop artist's**
posted by pugh at 2:23 PM on February 12, 2012


Can we not be tremendous assholes to each other?
posted by josher71 at 2:25 PM on February 12, 2012


william s burroughs killed his wife

should we stop reading his books? - should he have gotten awards as a writer? - should his books be available at libraries?

how is that different than this situation with chris brown?
posted by pyramid termite at 2:28 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


And really, framing the opinion of an internet blogger against a multibillion dollar rock star who has barely been seen any consequences for serious assault and hospitalizing a woman as "upper middle class white chick vs. black guy at the mercy of the justice system" is just about as the most disingenuous way possible of reading this.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no - fuck no! Black men don't get to beat us either. And unlike Chris Brown, most of them would never dream of it - let alone of using their blackness as an excuse for such fucked up, evil behaviour.


Nobody claims that he used being black as an excuse for anything.

The thing is the guy was processed by the justice system. And this very justice system is not exactly known for letting black people off easy (even rich black people although they obviously have it better than poor black people). So it is at least presumptuous to believe that you know better what his punishment should be.

The racial dimension of white women accusing black men of violence is somewhat meta and as such not fair on an individual level, i give you that.
posted by patrick54 at 2:30 PM on February 12, 2012


william s burroughs killed his wife

should we stop reading his books?


No, but he shouldn't perform at the Grammys either. Possibly because he's dead and/or a crappy singer.

I don't see an argument here about Chris Brown recording or people buying his music. The issue is one very public performance at the highest honor his industry has to offer. And how maybe, that one event should take into account someone's probation record before offering up their stage.

Also: I don't really think there are many kids aspiring to be William Burroughs when they grow up whereas Chris Brown... probably has more admirers.
posted by sonika at 2:35 PM on February 12, 2012


Also, Chris Brown apologized

But did he apologize to Metafilter? Clearly Chris Brown owes Metafilter an apology.


Amazingly enough, I understood that beating the shit out of women was terribly wrong at an even younger age than that. Most men do

Yeah most do. But not all. When I was 20 or so, I lived in a shitty apartment with one of my then-best friends and his girlfriend. I slept on the sofa in the living room. The guy always had a nasty temper, and they had a tumultuous relationship and got into a lot of heated arguments, but it was always just shouting. One night, they were screaming at each other louder than usual. Their door popped open and my friend got shoved out into the living room. They were really mad, screaming at each other while ma and their other roommate were trying to calm them down so we could go to sleep. She said something to him and he punched her, right in front of us.

We threw him out of the apartment right then and there. He was no longer my friend. I told my other friends about it, that he was an out of control raging asshole who punched a woman in the face. I imagine a lot of people lost some respect for him, but I was the only one that really severed all ties. This upset me at the time. I couldn't understand why people might not see things the way I did, and why they wouldn't shun him. I had to avoid a lot of social gatherings for a couple of years. Some people are more forgiving than me, but maybe also they realize that a person should not be forever defined by their ugliest trait. They weren't there, and I think for at least some of them their opinion of the guy would be different if they were. But I'm not going to tell people they are bad for continuing to be this guy's friend, or that they should be ashamed for liking him, or for seeing him as something more than merely an abuser.

We didn't get the police involved, and this guy faced fewer legal consequences than Chris Brown has. He never issued a public apology and he never got probation. I've since moved away from that town, and have run into him once or twice since when I go home for a visit. Said hello, chatted for a few minutes. I hear from others he's been taking anger management and has legitimately been trying to get his shit together since then. I still don't want to be his friend, but me talking shit about him isn't going to accomplish anything. He did a bad thing and tries to address it. Tries to get himself under control so he won't act out violently again. How you address it is maybe not something that's easily demonstrated, and a lot can happen in 4 years.

It's your prerogative if you don't want to support Chris Brown. By all accounts he's an asshole, and man I hate that style of R & B anyway so I won't be watching. But I don't know how appropriate it is to tell people they shouldn't enjoy his music or performances or what that would accomplish. And it's not an endorsement of violence against women if you do enjoy his music or performance.

signed,

A guy that likes Ike Turner's music
posted by Hoopo at 2:37 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


I would support a lifetime TV ban for anyone convicted of a violent crime. We need to make it clear upfront what the sentence really is though, we can't tell people "you are out, you paid your debt to society" then tell them a couple years down the line "oh, by the way, you can't appear on the Grammys". For the sake of fairness can we grandfather this guy in and just ban everyone in the future?
posted by Ad hominem at 2:38 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


19 year old commits a violent crime. Pleads guilty, is sentenced to 5 years probation. Would like to keep working. 3 years later has not harmed anyone else, and has reportedly been forgiven by victim.

I'm not telling others what to think, but personally, I don't consider it my business after that. I certainly have no interest in forever ostracizing that person and interfering with the individual's ability to make a living.
posted by xigxag at 2:40 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


And how maybe, that one event should take into account someone's probation record before offering up their stage.

so merle haggard shouldn't have gotten his two grammies, either?

---

I would support a lifetime TV ban for anyone convicted of a violent crime.

no, merle, i guess not
posted by pyramid termite at 2:41 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nobody claims that he used being black as an excuse for anything.

I was claiming that other people were doing that. Like we should give this snot-nosed multimillionaire Michael Jackson impersonator a break because black people have it hard enough as it is. No. Fuck him.

you'd think that we as a society would have gained the maturity and wisdom necessary to understand that just because a person is a great sports player or a great musician or whatever doesn't mean he's a great person

Chris Brown is really not a great anything, either, which is what makes his continued fame all the more irritating. I liked Kiss Kiss as much as anybody, but what is he giving us that we couldn't just as easily be getting from, say, Omarion?
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 2:41 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


but judge the art for what it is woth and let the artist's industry do the same

Except that's not what happens. It's no coincidence that almost every successful female singer is also physically attractive. For every Rhianna or Whitney Houston or Beyonce or Tina Turner who climbs to success, there are a thousand equally-talented female artists who never get a chance to succeed, because they aren't lucky enough to also possess the kind of looks that society deems worthy.

Women are nothing more tools to be exploited by the decision-makers who control access to the money machine. If you're a female and you don't have the requisite looks, your chances of success are almost nil. Susan Boyle's performance on that Britain's Got Talent show is dramatic proof of this. The audience and the judges assumed that she wouldn't be able to sing; simply because she didn't fit the stereotype of a female singer. As a rule, it's not good enough for female performers simply to be able to sing. They also have to be sexually appealing to have any real chance to get ahead. People were shocked that Susan Boyle could sing that well because their experience has been that female singers are also usually gorgeous.

The entertainment industry is a vile, shallow swamp. Women's sensibilities, safety, and self-worth will always be disregarded when there's a buck to be made. Anyone who takes that business seriously and believes that it's any kind of meritocracy at all is sadly mistaken.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 2:45 PM on February 12, 2012 [20 favorites]


I would support a lifetime TV ban for anyone convicted of a violent crime.

Goodbye, redemptive stories like that of Charles S. Dutton
posted by The Gooch at 2:45 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Chris Brown can RECEIVE a Grammy for all I care. Hey, if his shitty autotuned pseudo music befits the industry standard of good art, cool.

Chris Brown should not be revered as a role model. There's a distinction between the two.

Merle can receive Grammys, too, as long as he's not being touted as a hero for having borne his ordeal with such bravery.
posted by Phire at 2:48 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


so merle haggard shouldn't have gotten his two grammies, either?

Goodbye, redemptive stories like that of Charles S. Dutton

We need to do something if we are going to keep having this debate. Either serving time is enough or it isn't. We can't arbitrarily decide Merl and Dutton are cool but maybe Vick and Brown Aren't. It is patently unfair to tack on ad hoc ancillary caveats to someone's sentence years after the fact.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:50 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was claiming that other people were doing that. Like we should give this snot-nosed multimillionaire Michael Jackson impersonator a break because black people have it hard enough as it is.

There is a lot wrong with everything in this statement.
posted by patrick54 at 2:51 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


What's a little irksome is in later years, Zappa changed one of the lyrics from: "Got a job, doing radio promo/and none of the jocks can even tell I'm a homo," to, "Got a job doin' radio promo
And none of the jocks even think about tonso," which doesn't even make sense. Presumably it's to avoid the gay slur


It's "Tonto", not "tonso". There was a concert where Ike Willis, one of the singer's in Zappa's band, started going "Heigh-ho Silver!" At inappropriate times in songs, eventually leading to other Lone Ranger gags showing up. The version of Bobby Brown where Zappa swaps "Tonto" for "homo" also swaps "leisure mask" in for "leisure suit".

-Former teenage Zappa fan
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:53 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


We need to do something if we are going to keep having this debate. Either serving time is enough or it isn't.

Yes, this. As I said in my earlier comment, the author of the essay from this FPP says that "A man who hits a woman in anger deserves to be reported to the authorities and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of who might be inconvenienced in the process." Chris Brown was never prosecuted -- he pled guilty, which isn't the same thing. He obviously got off easier than he might of if 1) he wasn't famous, 2) he didn't have expensive lawyers, and 3) he hadn't taken a plea bargain deal.

No matter all that. Either being sentenced and serving that out (even if you're in the middle of doing it like Brown is doing) is considered paying your debt to society, or it isn't. If it is, then he needs to not carry further stigma because he's paying the price. If it's not, then we aren't talking about the same system of justice at all.
posted by hippybear at 2:55 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jesus people are reading a lot into The State of the Music Industry Today from an incident that happened 4 or 5 year ago between two teenagers. I also can't help but read casual racism into the attitude that Chris Brown being processed by the legal system and apologizing publicly is somehow insufficient, as if he is unable to recognize what he did wrong or incapable of personal growth.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:55 PM on February 12, 2012


Is it wrong of me to hope a little bit that whoever introduces Brown will go off-book and toss out a couple of remarks like "Yeah, he's a real HITmaker, all right" or "Can someone call a taxi for Chris's date to make sure she gets home safe?" so a buhskillion people can see him have a complete rage-tastic meltdown and commit assault and battery right onstage?

If ever there were a moment that called for Ricky Gervais. . . .
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:56 PM on February 12, 2012 [15 favorites]


19 year old commits a violent crime.

Why do people talk like this? 19 years old is OLD ENOUGH. It's funny, reading discussions like this has made me think of Chris Brown as a kid, but he's actually a few months older than me. And the idea that three years ago there could have been some sort of doubt in my mind as to the wrongness of beating my romantic partners half to death... because I wasn't quite old enough to know better? I just don't understand it.

patrick54, if you don't agree with the Michael Jackson impersonator part, I can't help you, but I hope you don't think I just don't care about black people or something. I am black, which is why I am particularly impatient with the idea that we should go easier on Chris Brown because of his race. Rihanna is the victim in this situation. Chris Brown is the man who beat her until she spat blood, and he is disgustingly rich, has countless fans and defenders, and is just about to perform at the most glamorous annual event in his industry. He's already been forgiven by just about everyone who matters, he doesn't need any more help.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 3:02 PM on February 12, 2012 [28 favorites]


If it is, then he needs to not carry further stigma because he's paying the price. If it's not, then we aren't talking about the same system of justice at all.

Actually, public criminal records regularly prevent ex-convicts from getting decent jobs, so the justice system as it currently stands evidently doesn't consider its own prescribed punishments to be adequate. If you want to argue whether this should be the case, I don't know, aren't you kind of assuming that we'll some day happen upon a legal system that we can rely on to judge a man's character?
posted by LogicalDash at 3:07 PM on February 12, 2012


We need to do something if we are going to keep having this debate. Either serving time is enough or it isn't. We can't arbitrarily decide Merl and Dutton are cool but maybe Vick and Brown Aren't. It is patently unfair to tack on ad hoc ancillary caveats to someone's sentence years after the fact.

Ad hominem - time for me to confess to being guilty of having misread sarcasm on the internet. I actually agree with this 100%
posted by The Gooch at 3:10 PM on February 12, 2012


Chris Brown should not be revered as a role model

since when is performing at the Grammys reserved solely for role models? Dr Dre, Eminem and Lil Wayne have performed there. Amy Winehouse sang "Rehab" on the Grammys. They're about music and entertainment, not character. There are a ton of scumbag musicians in the world who do things that you probably shouldn't emulate and are bad role models.
posted by Hoopo at 3:11 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Actually, public criminal records regularly prevent ex-convicts from getting decent jobs, so the justice system as it currently stands evidently doesn't consider its own prescribed punishments to be adequate. If you want to argue whether this should be the case, I don't know, aren't you kind of assuming that we'll some day happen upon a legal system that we can rely on to judge a man's character?

The fact that public criminal records are routinely being used in this manner is, IMO, a huge failing of our society and penal system. Branding someone as forever tainted when they've done what our system of justice says is required for them to pay their debt to society is heinous and immoral.
posted by hippybear at 3:12 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chris Brown was never prosecuted -- he pled guilty, which isn't the same thing.

It's not?
posted by Hoopo at 3:14 PM on February 12, 2012


Ad Hominem: We need to do something if we are going to keep having this debate. Either serving time is enough or it isn't. We can't arbitrarily decide Merl and Dutton are cool but maybe Vick and Brown Aren't. It is patently unfair to tack on ad hoc ancillary caveats to someone's sentence years after the fact.

While perhaps true, it's tangential - Chris Brown has not yet finished serving his time.
posted by Dysk at 3:14 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chris Brown was never prosecuted -- he pled guilty, which isn't the same thing.

It's not?


Well, my understanding is that plea bargains are in lieu of prosecution, which involves a trial and reasonable doubt and all that. I may be wrong and the definitions may be more strict than I understand them, but that's how I understand it.
posted by hippybear at 3:21 PM on February 12, 2012


I may or may not be ashamed to admit that, if he were still alive, I would pay to see this man perform.
posted by toodleydoodley at 3:22 PM on February 12, 2012


Ad hominem - time for me to confess to being guilty of having misread sarcasm on the internet. I actually agree with this 100%

I was going to suggest anyone convicted of a violent crime be banned from metafilter. We don't want metafilter being a platform for violent criminals do we?

The thing is, maybe Brown is a role model of sorts. Young guy, does something terribly wrong, owns up to his mistake by pleading guily, serves time and moves on.

Plenty of celebs have a checkered past, Charles Dutton, Tim Allen and many more.
Until 1967 New York had the Cabaret Card Law. Many of the most important artists of the day were unable to work in New York after their cards were suspended due to drug charges.

While perhaps true, it's tangential - Chris Brown has not yet finished serving his time. ok, you got me. He is still on parole.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:23 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chris Brown is not still on parole. He is on probation, of which he was sentenced 5 years, in addition to 180 hours of community service. That was the entirety of his sentence. He is still serving the central component thereof.
posted by Dysk at 3:27 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the correction.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:29 PM on February 12, 2012


Rumors are swirling that he and Rihanna have started spending time together again. It's all too sad.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:34 PM on February 12, 2012


180 hours of community service

Days, not hours.
posted by dsfan at 3:34 PM on February 12, 2012


and that is a corruption of what art and the artist should be in our world

You're gonna base your argument on a particular definition of "art"?

We've gone there before. If you try to convince anyone of that definition, you will fail.
posted by LogicalDash at 3:36 PM on February 12, 2012


I always judge art according to the character and behaviour of the artist. Also, I believe no one ever deserves forgiveness or a second chance, ever. Furthermore, I eat boogers and become hopelessly distracted by dust motes in a sunbeam.
posted by Decani at 3:40 PM on February 12, 2012


People comparing domestic violence to drug crimes and Communism is one of the grossest things I've ever read on Metafilter.
posted by kmz at 3:44 PM on February 12, 2012 [30 favorites]


patrick54, if you don't agree with the Michael Jackson impersonator part, I can't help you, but I hope you don't think I just don't care about black people or something. I am black, which is why I am particularly impatient with the idea that we should go easier on Chris Brown because of his race.

The Michael Jackson impersonator part is exactly what an ignorant white person would say about a black artist. If you feel this way about him on a genuine artistic level I can accept that although I ask myself how this is relevant here either way. I still think that you should qualify a statement like that with your specific intent especially if made in a somewhat anonymous forum.

Your second statement just makes no sense since nobody here advocated going easy on Chris Brown because he is black. At the same time it is consistent with common racist sentiments (blacks get everything handed to them while white people have to work for everything).
posted by patrick54 at 4:00 PM on February 12, 2012


I love how the police report aboiut 3 white kids is not true and the one about a black man is.

We know nothing of the truth of these matters. Brown could have done it or not done it. We are so sure because an industry based on sensationalism said so.
I love how Ironmouth is playing the race card to defend a black girl getting the shit beat out of her!

Fucking ridiculous.
posted by delmoi at 4:21 PM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Today I learned that the music industry is a bunch of dick-suckers all suckin' one another's dicks in a big sucked-dick-shaped castle guarded by dick-shaped dobermans wearing lip-shaped collars.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:24 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can't speak to "two or three cars"' intention here, but it's worth noting that calling Brown a "Michael Jackson impersonator" is literally a true statement. Before he became known as "that piece of shit who beat up his girlfriend" he was mostly known to the general public for giving a breathtaking VMA dance performance, which opens with a Chaplin impression and then, at the 5:20 mark of the linked video, ends with a Michael Jackson impersonation.
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:27 PM on February 12, 2012


pyramid termite: “and you're willfully ignoring the political and sociological implications of saying that people with certain marks against their record shouldn't be on industry awards shows - maybe they shouldn't be allowed to make records - maybe they shouldn't be played on the radio - maybe we should include drug convictions and other felonies to disqualify people... hmm, maybe we could blacklist them if they've ever been associated with communists, too ... and isn't that's what's being suggested here? - a new brand of mccarthyism? ... throw him in jail for his offenses, sure - express your disgust with his actions, sure ... but judge the art for what it is woth and let the artist's industry do the same”

This is inane. A new brand of mccarthyism? Look, I didn't suggest blackballing the dude. I didn't even suggest not having him on this award show – that's in the FPP here, not my words.

What I am objecting to is this sense you gave that if he's done his time, all is well – that is exactly what you implied, and have been implying, in pointing out that he's 'paid his debt to society.' This isn't just "art;" this guy has a platform, a pedestal he sits on, no matter what you or I think of that. And kids everywhere look up to him. And when this happened, they got the message he sent – be sorry that violence happened, but don't ever take responsibility for it, and profit off of it in future if you can.

You really see nothing wrong with that? You think it's just fine that he's teaching kids that? Seriously?

&ldquo:we need to grow up and stop holding people up on pedestals”

Hear, hear. In fact, if you'd like to know which celebrity's pedestal to start with, just ask; I've got a pretty good idea which one we should knock down first.

Ironmouth: “This is why we let the justice system handle this. None of us was there. None of us sat in that courtroom and heard testimony.”

NO. The justice system does not have a total monopoly on right and wrong. I am not required to consult a lawyer every time I want to think about morality. Right and wrong are the province of every citizen.

This prick wants to dance around writing songs about how he was in the right to beat up a woman, and they shouldn't keep him down? Sure, maybe we shouldn't be burning down his house. I can agree with that. But it is okay for me to talk about it, it's okay for me to suggest that others shouldn't buy his record, and it's okay for people to be upset when someone like this gets honored.
posted by koeselitz at 4:28 PM on February 12, 2012 [23 favorites]


2bucksplus: “I also can't help but read casual racism into the attitude that Chris Brown being processed by the legal system and apologizing publicly is somehow insufficient, as if he is unable to recognize what he did wrong or incapable of personal growth.”

Setting aside the silliness of the "casual racism" you mention here – Chris Brown has not "apologized publicly." Far from it. He did the standard bullshit non-apology – 'well, who knows what happened, but I'm sorry it did, even though I don't really remember it' – and then proceeded to break windows and smash up rooms whenever somebody asked him about it later. The dude has not apologized, has not moved past it.
posted by koeselitz at 4:32 PM on February 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


The Michael Jackson impersonator part is exactly what an ignorant white person would say about a black artist. If you feel this way about him on a genuine artistic level I can accept that although I ask myself how this is relevant here either way. I still think that you should qualify a statement like that with your specific intent especially if made in a somewhat anonymous forum.

What on earth are you talking about? Have you ever actually listened to Brown's music, or seen his act? He is, by design, the most MJ-esque act going on nowadays. That's his whole raison d'etre. He has repeatedly invoked MJ himself, and the media has repeatedly compared MJ to him.

What's next, are we going to debate whether or not The Darkness have been influenced by Queen?
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:34 PM on February 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


The Grammys. Think. That they. Were the victim. Of Chris Brown. Hitting. Rihanna. In the face.

This really is the pull quote. It's absolutely appalling. Is he going to perform before or after the Whitney Houston tribute? Good god, this is all completely indefensible.
posted by mek at 4:38 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]




Hi, I'm Chris Brown. Since February, my attorney has advised me not to speak out, even though ever since the incident, I wanted to publicly express my deepest regret and accept full responsibility. Although, I will do some interviews and answer some questions in the future, I felt it was time that you heard directly from me that I am sorry.

I have tried to live my life in a way which can make those around me proud of me and until recently, I think I was doing a pretty good job. I wish I had the chance to live those few moments again. But unfortunately, I can't. I cannot go into what happened and most importantly, I'm not gonna sit here and make any excuses. I take great pride in me being able to exercise self-control and what I did was inexcusable. I am very sad and very ashamed of what I've done. My mother and my spiritual teachers have taught me way better than that. I have told Rihanna countless times and I'm telling you today; that I am truly, truly sorry and that I wasn't able to handle the situation both differently and better.

I recognize that I've truly been blessed. I've been blessed with a wonderful family, wonderful friends and fans. God has been generous in giving me the ability which has brought me fame and fortune. I've done a lot of soul searching over the past several months. I've talked with my minister and my mother and I've spent a lot of time trying to understand what happened and why.

I've let a lot of people down and I realize that. And no one is more disappointed in me than I am. As many of you know, I grew up in a home where there was domestic violence. And I saw firsthand what uncontrolled rage can do. I have sought and I'm continuing to seek help to ensure that what occurred in February can never happen again. And as I sit here today, I can tell you that I will do everything in my power to make sure that it never happens again.
And I promise that.
YouTube, a month or too after the guilty plea.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:42 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Thanks, Ian A.T. and Sticherbeast, that's what I was getting at. See also this tribute at the BET music awards after MJ's death, which served as a kind of stealth comeback performance, complete with tearful breakdown. Actually, looking at that again makes me want to bow out of this discussion, as I am clearly powerless to have a charitable thought about Chris Brown. (Don't fall for it! He's just crying for himself!)
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 4:42 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


2bucksplus: That's exactly what I mean – an empty non-apology. His actions before and after that kind of prove that reading a scripted "I'm sorry" written by a PR guy doesn't mean much.
posted by koeselitz at 4:58 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I go out dancing quite a bit, and I when I hear his songs being played, it makes it harder to "do my thing" because I have been on the receiving end of the "assault in the car" scenario and it is frightening beyond measure to have a person not only kicking your ass but driving while they do it.

Chris Brown makes me sick, even with his fucking useless apology. He's another Charlie Sheen, an abusive peckerhead.

It leaves me gobsmacked when I hear people say, "Well, I love him anyway, he's so cute/handsome/talented.

Yeah, that's real cute, punching your girlfriend and choking her out while you're driving.

No apology in the world makes you forget about that shit. People are dumb.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 4:59 PM on February 12, 2012 [11 favorites]


He's on right now, if anyone wanted to see.
posted by inigo2 at 5:26 PM on February 12, 2012


I can't keep reading the comments here. I should stay out of it entirely. I'll almost certainly regret saying this. But. My mother, my brothers, and I will live every day for the rest of our lives marked by my father's abuse. The bruises and breaks he caused faded, but it will never be okay. Having been dehumanized by his violence is a prison none of us will ever really be released from. It will never be okay. He's been dead for years, but I might as well have a tattoo on my face, because that's how marked I am. Justice does not exist.

Men who behave this way should be shunned. They should be treated by society as the monsters they are. There should be no second chances. That's the way to change our culture so that no one ever thinks it's acceptable.

I'm feeling triggered and sick by some of what has been said here. I can't believe members I've respected for years could speak about a societal disease as serious as this as a trivial matter of crime and punishment.
posted by mostlymartha at 5:26 PM on February 12, 2012 [35 favorites]


And I think he's playing QBert.
posted by inigo2 at 5:27 PM on February 12, 2012


I'd acknowledge that he is a good dancer/performer. But seriously, fuck this guy.
posted by k8t at 5:28 PM on February 12, 2012


I love how the police report aboiut 3 white kids is not true and the one about a black man is.

For crying out loud, he admitted to beating the shit out of Rihanna. Look at the pictures of her face. I wish you could talk to her and say this to her face. Or to any woman who has been the victim of domestic violence.

He did it, he admitted it. He is a piece of shit for beating a woman.

He is actually from the area of Virginia I am from, so he is a local hero, and I have to hear about how great he is all the damn time. He has so many apologists it makes me sick.

Chris talks about how he saw his Mother beat, yet he can knock another woman around? How dare he do that, can you imagine what his mother most have felt when she found out her son beat her.
posted by SuzySmith at 5:28 PM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Cool flip at the end. Too bad he didn't fall into broken glass.
posted by k8t at 5:29 PM on February 12, 2012


Fuck that guy.
posted by ColdChef at 5:41 PM on February 12, 2012


I can't believe members I've respected for years could speak about a societal disease as serious as this as a trivial matter of crime and punishment.

I agree with you here... the "he did his time" discussion is extremely disturbing as it's clearly a mask to defend patriarchal violence, whether it is deployed willingly or not. Would anyone say the same about a pedophile, or a rapist, or a murderer? "Well, he did his time..." so what? Legal punishment is not the only mechanism we have as a society for encouraging or discouraging behaviour, nor should it be. The criminal justice system only enters the picture after the crimes are committed. To actually stop abuse from happening, we have to go further than punishing abusers, we have to create a world where abuse is not tolerated. This is so far beyond "tolerance" it is absolutely disgusting; it is actively promoting and endorsing violence against women.
posted by mek at 5:43 PM on February 12, 2012 [16 favorites]




If you feel that the punishment meted by the justice system is not justice enough, should you not be advocating for stricter sentencing for these types of crimes? We have a heavily-favorited anecdote about how 90% of abusers cannot be rehabilitated, so that issue seems to be out of the way. Lock them up and throw away the key. To focus on to this one particular person in a very unique context seems like just the next feed for the outrage machine.
posted by cheburashka at 5:55 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


>advocating for stricter sentences

Who says we're not?
posted by cyndigo at 5:59 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


It leaves me gobsmacked when I hear people say, "Well, I love him anyway, he's so cute/handsome/talented.

So do we only hate black people here, or can we hate John Lennon, Lou Reed, Pink Floyd, Elvis Costello too? Don't even get me started on all the actors who have been busted with a woman at the end of their fists. Also, I'd also like to say that "Goodbye Earl" is one of the greatest videos ever.
posted by karathrace at 6:04 PM on February 12, 2012


Part of what makes this non-gray is that Chris Brown isn't even an artiste, he's a manufactured media personality. As two or three cars said, there's nothing he can do that Omarion or, I don't know, Justin Bieber can't. His 'interesting' personality is what makes him more notable, and fucked-uply, a major part of that is the fact that he beat his girlfriend. This whole 'we can't let his wrongdoing obscure his art' thing might be legit if it were Jay-Z or Joanna Newsom who was a domestic abuser. But frankly, Chris Brown is basically just an abuser who sings songs. I realize this whole art/not-art thing is subjective, but it's germane.

Also, I'm not saying that good art excuses cruel deeds-- I strongly feel Roman Polanski should be persona non grata. But it does provide chewier discussion than this case, which is incredibly cut-and-dry from where I stand.
posted by threeants at 6:05 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Um, holy shit. I just want to highlight the link that mlis posted (emphasis mine):
"What's going on now is recently the restraining order has been relaxed," Roberts began, referring to the restraining order placed on Brown after the altercation. "Have you all seen each other, been around each other?"

"I mean, not really," the singer replied. "It's not really a big deal to me now as far as that situation. I think I'm past that in my life. I think today's the album day so that's what I'm focused on. Everybody go get that album."

...

But when the cameras were off, the crooner stormed into his dressing room screaming and smashed the window - sending shards of glass falling into the streets of Times Square below.

Roberts says she and GMA staffers had asked Brown before the show if he was OK with being asked "a few questions" about Rihanna, reported TMZ.com. Brown agreed, the gossip site said, but appeared to change his mind later.

A Brown confidante, however, said the singer has routinely told interviewers that questions about Rihanna were no-go territory.

"He goes into every interview saying 'Don't ask about Rihanna,'" the friend said.
What was that you were saying about him having apologized and now feels remorseful?
posted by Phire at 6:07 PM on February 12, 2012 [18 favorites]


I guess what really bugs me is that this guy hasn't been socially excommunicated by his peers. As is my right, I would not choose an unrepentant wifebeater as a client or as a friend. It made me sad and shocked to read that Usher was forced ("forced") to retract his harsh words for Brown.
posted by threeants at 6:12 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think that Chris Brown was adequately punished by the law.

I don't think any legal system is adequately equipped to determine how a particular criminal shoud be regarded by their community. Some criminals might be reformed with jail time alone; some will need social pressure on top of that. (Admittedly, nobody is very good at deciding the best way to treat criminals, but the people who actually know them are better qualified to guess.)

I don't think Chris Brown deserves any forgiveness. Certainly not until a genuine show of remorse, and for some time after that, that we may see what he's done with himself.

The notion that domestic abusers who aren't murderers or rapists should be imprisoned for life is disturbing to me. It's clearly meant to demonize the abusers, but that also has the effect of turning them into antiheroes--the kind of role model that copycat criminals cotton to.

Perhaps not everyone deserves forgiveness; certainly, it should not be cheap. But to suggest that no man who has committed some particular crime may ever be forgiven is ... I don't want to say "too much". It's not a simple extension of the rule that greater crimes make forgiveness harder to achieve. It's a way of dehumanizing people you hate, so that you don't have to deal with them on any level, legal, moral, or emotional.

It's an understandable error. You may not be equipped to deal with such people. But they are people, and we forget that at our peril.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:14 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I agree with you here... the "he did his time" discussion is extremely disturbing as it's clearly a mask to defend patriarchal violence, whether it is deployed willingly or not. Would anyone say the same about a pedophile, or a rapist, or a murderer?

Bullshit. I'd say that about a pedophile or a rapist or a murderer, because I believe in rehabilitation and second chances, and I don't wear any mask to defend patriarchal violence.

If you don't feel our penal system works correctly, work to reform it. If you don't feel the penalties are harsh enough, then work to make them harsher. Better still, work to make our penal system truly rehabilitational, and not the living hell of rape and physical beating and criminal education that they currently are.

Do I think that Brown received the appropriate punishment for his crime? No, I don't. I'm not a big fan of plea bargaining, as I think it lets too many criminals off with light sentences, and locks up too many people for whom reasonable doubt could be established in a courtroom.

But I do, ever so strongly, believe that once time has been served, any offender (even rapists, pedophiles, and murderers) should be allowed to live a life with full possibilities and citizen rights. Not relegated to a second-class existence branded by the actions of their past for which they have paid the price.
posted by hippybear at 6:44 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not performing at the Grammys is not a citizen right, nor is Chris Brown anything approaching a second-class citizen, especially not when his highest grossing song "Look At Me Now" is effectively an anthem about how the haters (by which we mean, presumably, the people who think badly of him due to his felony) can't keep him down and he's making more money than ever now LOLAMIRITE.

I understand the argument for a slippery slope potentially being established, but really, we're not saying Chris Brown can't vote. We're saying he shouldn't be paraded around as This Awesome Dude.
posted by Phire at 6:50 PM on February 12, 2012 [22 favorites]




So an unrelated upper-class white women thinks she should be the one to decide on the punishment of black people because the criminal justice system isn't sufficiently stacked against them?

And the 2012 Meffy for tonedeafness goes to...
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:29 PM on February 12, 2012


Can't believe no one mentioned 'Mad at Miles', in which Pearl Cleage finds herself writing a piece suggesting that Miles is "guilty of self-confessed crimes against women such that we should break his albums, burn his tapes, and scratch up his CDs until he acknowledges and apologizes and rethinks his position on the Woman Question." Built around the fact that in Miles' autobiography he tells a story about hitting Cicely Tyson, and how she called the police and hid in the basement. When the police came Miles said she was doing a great acting job, and they basically apologized for bothering him.
posted by ianhattwick at 7:30 PM on February 12, 2012


What was that you were saying about him having apologized and now feels remorseful?

I don't see what Chris Brown still being unable to control his anger says about remorse. The guy clearly has rage issues he needs to deal with, it doesn't mean he's incapable of remorse or regret.

We're saying he shouldn't be paraded around as This Awesome Dude.

He's not being paraded around as this awesome dude, is he? He's performing on a televised awards show. Because he's good at dancing or something, and because people like his songs owing to their terrible taste in music.
posted by Hoopo at 7:38 PM on February 12, 2012


With regard to the New York Daily News article I linked to, what I find myself thinking about is how a non-celebrity convicted felon serving a five year term of probation (which he has not completed yet, hippybear) who broke a window in a television studio would be arrested and in front of a judge for violating his probation.

When you are Chris Brown, you have a manager or agent or fixer with you who smooths it over, probably calls Bob Iger and gets the whole misunderstanding resolved quickly.

*shrug* That's the way the system works.

But, someone like Brown, who treats women and objects the same way, will be arrested again. Just a question of when.
posted by mlis at 7:40 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well, his performance was by far the weakest of the night. He had to follow Alicia Keys and Bonnie Fucking Raitt covering Etta Fucking James. His performance was weak and uninspired. Kid can't sing worth shit, his lyrics are atrocious.
Still won a fucking Grammy, though. Talentless wonder that he is.
posted by msali at 7:58 PM on February 12, 2012


Isn't it already the case that Chris Brown can't vote, having pled guilty to a felony? Would you prefer he have his voting rights back, but not be allowed to attend the Grammys? It seems like the issue here is that Chris Brown is having too much commercial success. Perhaps we should limit what convicted felons can earn, and anything above a certain amount should be relinquished. But "this young unpleasant male making successful music I don't like has not been punished enough or done enough to satisfy my moral compass" doesn't seem like a very good method of pursuing justice.
posted by cheburashka at 8:00 PM on February 12, 2012


@karathrace What did Elvis Costello ever do that was violent? Would be news to me.
Singing about stuff in a story that could not be mistaken for the singer's actual life and personality is a pretty tenuous connection to actual violence or misogyny.
posted by Listener at 8:13 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


hippybear: "But I do, ever so strongly, believe that once time has been served, any offender (even rapists, pedophiles, and murderers) should be allowed to live a life with full possibilities and citizen rights."

Time has not been served. I don't think Chris Brown is even halfway through his five years of probation, he's been complaining about it the whole damned time, and dude smashed up a dressing room a few months ago because somebody asked him about this. He shouldn't even be on probation right now - he should be in jail, and if he weren't rich he would be, like mlis said above.
posted by koeselitz at 8:15 PM on February 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


You know, the article was actually about how horrifying it is that no one seems to care about what happened to Rihanna. Reading this thread, which has little to say about Rihanna but is instead a big fight about whether or not Chris Brown should get to be on the Grammys, perfectly illustrates the author's point. Rihanna is nearly invisible here too. And it makes me really, really sad.
posted by OolooKitty at 8:17 PM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]




[Few comments removed. We are at the point where if you are not trolling you need to be made aware that you seem to be trolling and you need to dial it back or go to MetaTalk. Thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 8:38 PM on February 12, 2012


You know, the article was actually about how horrifying it is that no one seems to care about what happened to Rihanna

If that's what the article was about, she spent way too much of it writing about other stuff.
posted by Hoopo at 8:38 PM on February 12, 2012


Reading this thread, which has little to say about Rihanna but is instead a big fight about whether or not Chris Brown should get to be on the Grammys, perfectly illustrates the author's point.

what, that people tend to argue the proposition that the writer provides them?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:40 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


It just makes me thoroughly disgusted that he has young female fans who want to be beaten. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK? I can't stand the "Team Breezy" (Breezy? again, wtf?) people. Why on earth do you want a dude who would happily punch your face in? Who after that one big apology, has continued to act like an attitudinal asshole who's showing just how not sorry he is? And yet he won a fucking Grammy and everyone luuuuuvs him. You can get away with whatever you want, apparently.

Also, what's with Grammys having them both performing on the same night and pretty close to each other?
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:55 PM on February 12, 2012


Does anyone remember the MTV awards show that Chris Brown just did? He opened his act with "Smells like Teen Spirit." I was sooo pissed because this goes against everything that Nirvana stands for. Kurt was very much a feminist, and I'm sure he was rolling in his grave.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 8:56 PM on February 12, 2012


i could be wrong, but i think team breezy is a take on weezy (lil wayne).
posted by nadawi at 8:57 PM on February 12, 2012


You know, the article was actually about how horrifying it is that no one seems to care about what happened to Rihanna. Reading this thread, which has little to say about Rihanna but is instead a big fight about whether or not Chris Brown should get to be on the Grammys, perfectly illustrates the author's point. Rihanna is nearly invisible here too.

Well, wouldn't part of the reason for that be that Rihanna herself has said--repeatedly--that she hopes Chris Brown has continued career success? From an interview she gave in Esquire (NSFW naturally, and video with sound plays):

It's incredible to see how he pulled out of it the way he did. Even when the world seemed like it was against him, you know? I really like the music he's putting out. I'm a fan of his stuff. I've always been a fan. Obviously, I had some resentment toward him for a while, for obvious reasons. But I've put that behind me. It was taking up too much of my time. It was too much anger. I'm really excited to see the breakthrough he's had in his career. I would never wish anything horrible for him. Never. I never have.

I mean, I'm not at all a fan of Brown's music, and frankly he sounds like something of a jerk even apart from what happened with Rihanna. But I'm rather surprised at how easily people dismiss the feelings of the victim herself. I'm not sure why we shouldn't take her at her word that she doesn't want this event to end his professional career.
posted by dsfan at 9:00 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


nadawi: "i could be wrong, but i think team breezy is a take on weezy (lil wayne)."

-eezy is meant as an endearing diminutive in ghetto slang; it's actually pretty common. Lil Wayne + eezy = "Weezy," Kanye ("'Ye") West + eezy = "Yeezy," and Chris Brown + eezy = "Breezy."
posted by koeselitz at 9:08 PM on February 12, 2012


> Young women Tweet about how they'd like Chris Brown to beat them.

In a long thread chock full of depressing shit, that is by far the most depressing shit.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:25 PM on February 12, 2012 [14 favorites]


To be clear when I brought up the cabaret card laws I was not comparing drug offenses and domestic violence as crimes. I was comparing the effect, artists losing their livelihoods through unevenly administered and arbitrary moralizing.

If we as a society want to banish everyone who has hit a woman to a desert island lets go for it. I just don't think offering the chance of redemption and and yanking it away is what we want to aspire to.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:30 PM on February 12, 2012




I was comparing the effect, artists losing their livelihoods through unevenly administered and arbitrary moralizing.

Domestic violence is not an arbitrary or grey moral area. It is wrong, and most of the time abusers get away with it. Despite Chris' apology, he has continued to act in violent ways and glorify it in his music. I'm not saying that he has no right to continue being an artist, I'm saying that maybe we should not feature men like this in widely publicized award shows. If his music is great enough for him to win an award, fine. If he even wanted to continue to show remorse and use the experience as a way to educate others about the negative effects of domestic abuse, then great, by all means let him be widely publicized. But not now. Not when he has basically gone out of his way to let us know that he doesn't give a shit and that no victim is going to bring him down.

I hear shit like that from abusers who are preying on their third victim. Sorry if it makes me a little angry to hear it from somebody who makes a living off of his image. You don't think kids don't notice that? You don't think that DV is a very special area not comprable to drug use or any other "arbitrary" moralizing? The dynamics of control and manipulation are different than other types of crime, and they are not a one-time thing that you can overlook.
posted by pugh at 4:32 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


You are now aware that no matter how much you concern yourself with the lives of these wealthy egomaniacs, they will never concern themselves with yours.
posted by clarknova at 4:51 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not sure if this has been posted in this thread or not, but this is quite disturbing.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 6:56 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


> this is quite disturbing.

It was posted upthread. While it is rather odd (I just find it more strange than actually disturbing), I would hope that if Brown saw those he would feel uncomfortable more than anything.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:04 AM on February 13, 2012


hippybear: "So, she needs to be working full-time to keep any and all plea bargaining from taking place in domestic violence cases, regardless of the public cost of the increased number of court trials which will be required."

Easy solution. End the drug war and redirect resources to making sure that anyone who genuinely thinks that violence is an adequate solution to any given situation is prosecuted the the fullest extent of the law.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:30 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


But I do, ever so strongly, believe that once time has been served, any offender (even rapists, pedophiles, and murderers) should be allowed to live a life with full possibilities and citizen rights. Not relegated to a second-class existence branded by the actions of their past for which they have paid the price.

We'll agree to disagree here. Certain things are permanently and rightfully denied to convicts: pedophiles will not enjoy a career in childcare, rapists will not be employed at battered women's shelters, negligent pilots will not be pilots anymore, etecetera. None of that is even controversial, it's just obvious. Similarly, Chris Brown has every right to be a musician but his role model days should be over. There's no clause in the social contract that says we're ethically obliged to collectively exalt him as a great, awesome dude because he "served his time." When he's done that, the response should be "Congratulations Chris Brown on doing the bare fucking minimum. You're still an asshole."
posted by mek at 9:11 AM on February 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


I don't feel wise enough to even suggest what any parties moral responsibility should be, but I am concerned about the ramifications of such a "comeback". A visible example like this, particularly without a contrasting counterpart, can easily be used as a tool to manipulate someone into staying in an abusive relationship. Abusers trying to win back a partner after an incident are often incredibly persuasive. Now they're fortified with a media endorsed example of "see baby, I can change", and can assert that if the world can forgive Chris Brown, you'd have to be crazy not to give me another chance. I'm upset that abusers have been handed another advantage.
posted by yorick at 9:34 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah I came back to this thread to post a link to the buzzfeed thing, with women tweet about how much they want Chris Brown to beat them up. I guess it's like Twilight fandom, except Unlike Edward, Chris Brown is real.

Also, this playing of the race card to defend the guy is completely fucking ridiculous, and offensive. Last I checked, Rihanna was black. Maybe all you defenders are the real racists here, ever think about that? You don't care when a black girl gets the shit beat out of her?

Frankly it's pissing me off. And it doesn't make any sense. Yes, a lot of people are bitching about the misogynistic aspects but society overall has clearly embraced him, he's performing at the Grammies, he's one of the most popular singers, and so on. The idea that "racism" is "keeping him down" is completely absurd.
He shouldn't even be on probation right now - he should be in jail, and if he weren't rich he would be, like mlis said above.
Someone has to press charges in order for you to go to jail. People damage property all the time without going to jail.

Anyway, I think people can be forgiven - I just think the bizzaroland complaints about "racism" here are ridiculous. And this guy does seem like an unrepentant asshole.
Well, wouldn't part of the reason for that be that Rihanna herself has said--repeatedly--that she hopes Chris Brown has continued career success? From an interview she gave in Esquire (NSFW naturally, and video with sound plays):
Well, what is she supposed to say? Everyone was already hating on her for 'making' him beat her up. She's being politic here, who knows how she really feels?
Seven beloved celebrities and the awful shit you forgot that they did.
Are they criticizing Tim Allen for being a coke dealer, or for ratting people out? The article is kind of ambiguous in that respect.
posted by delmoi at 12:46 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


rihanna seems genuine in her forgiveness of him. the relationship of victim with abuser is one that is certainly fraught, but i don't think she's politicking here. there are far too many reports of them hanging out/talking/maybe recording a song together for it to be made up whole cloth.
posted by nadawi at 1:05 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's no clause in the social contract that says we're ethically obliged to collectively exalt him as a great, awesome dude because he "served his time."

Thsi keeps coming up and I'm still not sure who's holding him up as a great guy or role model. HE SINGS AND DANCES.
posted by Hoopo at 1:32 PM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


For the 90% statistic: That is a very unscientific approximation for sure, but there has been extensive research that concludes that abusers are, as a whole, very unlikely to be "cured" by counseling or therapy. And couples therapy actually makes the situation worse, further endangering the victim.
posted by pugh at 2:53 PM on February 13, 2012


I'm still not sure who's holding him up as a great guy or role model.

Is it presumptous of me to suggest that being invited to perform on the Grammy Awards is some sort of endorsement of the man and his work?
posted by mek at 6:23 PM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think it's a coincidence that Rhianna showed up to a show where her abuser was performing (twice!) and pretty much dressed up as Tina Turner for the occasion.
posted by Uncle Ira at 9:57 PM on February 13, 2012


His work? No. But yes it is presumptuous to take an invitation to perform a hit song at a music awards show as an endorsement of his character.
posted by Hoopo at 12:15 AM on February 14, 2012


[comment removed - that thing people do where they pretend to sexist and homophobic to make a point that homophobia is bad? It doesn't go so well here.]
posted by jessamyn at 5:54 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


His own words about how he feels about whole Grammy thing.

And as for how Rihanna feels, who can say but her, but this is how she said she felt then:
Interview links - Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

I watched that interview at the time and was fist-pumping her poise and how well she spoke about it all, particularly her responses to the idea that she bore some blame in it all. And especially that she didn't hide how angry she was. I became an admirer because of that and when she released an album some time later, I bought it with a 'show solidarity and support' motive.

That album turned out to be pretty damn amazing actually, and unsurprisingly her lowest seller in years and considered mostly a flop by her record company, if i remember correctly.

She stopped making that sort of music mostly and returned to straight pop music but i'm still a fan of the way she (at least from the very limited view we have of her) seems to be living her life strongly on her own terms.

Even if i'm not a fan of those particular terms (see above re: reuniting with Chris Brown)
posted by pseudonymph at 7:47 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


(After rewatching it again since it first aired, i'd forgotten this exchange:

Diane Sawyer: "So many people said 'she always seemed like the least likely person to be in this situation where that would happen, that she always seemed strong- .."

Rihanna, interrupting: "I am strong. This happened to me. I didn't cause this. I didn't do it. This happened to me, and it can happen to anybody."

She says it so coolly and calmly, not giving an inch to the blame. No way I could have been that perceptive at just twenty years old. High five to your awesomeness here, Rihanna.)
posted by pseudonymph at 8:26 PM on February 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


Oh, apologies - apparently there were more tweets. Better link.

He's going with the time-honoured 'I didn't write that, it was my twitter personnel' response.
posted by pseudonymph at 8:35 PM on February 14, 2012


The lovely ladies of The View apparently think Chris Brown is a role model for abuse victims:
"There may be a child in a situation of going through abuse that Chris Brown has gone through. His mother was abused right in front of his very eyes six years before this happened to Rihanna. He used to wet his pants from the fear… He was a victim! He became an offender. He did what the courts told him to do. He went to 52 weeks a year of domestic prevention counseling."
Full Link.
posted by Phire at 7:28 AM on February 15, 2012




it might be all publicity and no factual basis, but the rumors are getting pretty loud that chris brown will be on rihanna's remix track, birthday cake, and chris brown seems to indicate she'll be featured in one of his remixes.
posted by nadawi at 2:36 PM on February 17, 2012


The producers of the song in question have confirmed that he's not appearing on Birthday Cake.
posted by pseudonymph at 7:17 PM on February 17, 2012


yeah, i saw that confirmation, but the rumor still persists a couple days later. we'll see come monday. both of their twitters have seemed pretty defiant today. but, even if he's not on it, this is probably a very successful round of publicity.
posted by nadawi at 7:27 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]




Yeah, I just came to post the same thing. You weren't wrong about the Twitter attitudes either, yikes.
posted by pseudonymph at 6:27 PM on February 20, 2012


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