An open letter to Chris Brown

03.23.11 7 years ago 14 Comments

AP Photo

Oh Chris Brown, what are we going to do with you? So many of us were willing to forgive–but not forget– your horrible 2009 act of domestic violence against Rihanna, but you showed why we shouldn”t on “Good Morning America” yesterday.

You took what was a prime opportunity to graciously answer Robin Roberts” questions–no matter how much they understandably roiled you–and let “GMA”s” soccer mom audience see that you weren”t the Big Bad. It was an opportunity to prove that you were no longer scary-despite the massive, tattooed biceps and blond hair- and if they wanted to buy their kids your brand new album, why not?

Instead, you acted like an arrogant jerk. Were you not media coached? Yes, Roberts wouldn”t let it go, but she pitched those questions to you as total softballs, as if she was embarrassed to even bring up that unpleasant stuff. “GMA,” as fluffy as it can be, comes under the ABC News banner, so they aren”t going to ignore it. Plus, you know she was going to ask about it, so she didn”t spring it on you. In Roberts” 2009 interview with you after the incident, you seemed honestly contrite and gave great answers. All you had to do was parrot those responses again and tell people that you”d learned from the experience.

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Guess what, Chris? Answering a question about the relaxing of the restraining order against you with “It”s not really a big deal to me now” is not only a big publicity faux pas, it”s a huge red flag that despite your handling your punishment and community service well, the severity of what you did might not have sunk in yet. Add trashing the dressing room and storming out shirtless (what was that all about?) and it tallies up to the fact that someone still has very serious anger issues and is acting out in an inappropriate manner. You act as if two years ago was a long time. It”s not. Not when it comes to something as terrible as domestic abuse.

Since you”re going to act like a child, maybe it”s time to treat you like one. Maybe you need a good, old-fashioned time-out. Go away for a bit and get these issues taken care of once and for all. You are extremely talented and, hopefully, have a good long career ahead of you. So many artists and fans are still in your corner. Don”t disappoint them or yourself.

And just a few further thoughts. It”s clear that violence against women is A-OK with television executives. Witness the fact that ABC isn”t about to cancel your “Dancing With the Stars” performance next week. Maybe they should tape up the windows in your dressing room. ABC knows your appearance could be ratings gold, so they aren”t about to let ethics get in the way. It”s the same thing with Charlie Sheen and CBS now trying to woo him back, despite his appalling treatment of women.

But just to be clear, beating up woman and destroying ABC”s property is fine, but a man-on-man kiss, such as when Adam Lambert laid one on his band members during his 2009 American Music Awards was enough to get his “GMA” performance cancelled PDQ. So let”s get this straight: we love it when there”s some girl-on-girl action by girls who aren”t gay–like the Madonna/Britney kiss of yore; we tolerate, if not reward violence against women; but still freak out when a gay man kisses another man.

 I was going to post your new video for “Beautiful People,” but that’s just rewarding your behavior. Anyone who is still Team Breezy can find it lots of other places. BTW, congrats. It looks like your new album, “F.A.M.E.,” is a shoo-in to come in at No. 1 next week.

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