Let’s square away the facts regarding Cee-Lo Green.
1. He has always resembled the Black Kirby. Not that it’s a bad thing in the least bit – it’s not – but he does.
2. The man may have given us classics that spanned over three different decades, but his comments this past weekend regarding rape were impetuous.
For those currently unaware of what’s going on, here’s a crash course:
— Grumpy & Lumpy (@omgLSP) August 31, 2014
Cee-Lo reportedly later added, “People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!”
Here we are again. Right back on the topic human rights. Right back on what appears to be victim blaming – the same insinuation that put Stephen A. Smith in hot water during his Ray Rice/domestic violence soliloquy and more recently Ricky Gervais for his tweets on the celebrity nude photos leak. And right back on what constitutes as “consent” and “not consenting.”
Sexual assault – or rape, for short – is a slippery slope because of the wide-ranging contrasts in each side’s account. What’s uniquely disturbing from The Soul Machine’s now-deleted Twitter rant, however, is the the assertion a home invasion may hold more weight than the potential assault of an unconscious woman because of “plausible proof.”
Suddenly, “Bodies” just got a lot creepier.
After the tweets made their rounds over Labor Day weekend, petitions to TBS to cancel Cee-Lo’s The Good Life were formed. There’s no way to tell for sure if TBS would’ve given Lo the ax – they probably would have in similar fashion how Reebok originally dropped Rick Ross after his “UOENO” verse made rounds – but the show was canceled prior to the situation.
The comments come on the heels of a situation Cee-Lo found himself in 2012. A young woman claimed Green gave her Ecstasy while on a sushi date and by the time she awoke, she was naked next to him in a bed. He was never charged with rape due to insufficient evidence, but the stain remained. Couple that situation with these Twitter comments and suddenly Cee-Lo created an image for himself as an entertaining performer who doesn’t seen the flaws in drugging women only to have sex with them while they’re unable to consent. Fair or unfair, it’s how perception works.
Of course, in modern-day PR 101 tactics, the apology was quick and sort of a non-apology as he said his comments were taken out of context. Then his Twitter was deleted, as if deactivating the account would magically make the remarks go away as long as he didn’t have the option to check his mentions. The fact of the matter is, no, his comments were not taken out of context. Not on a topic as black-and-white as attempting to explain why sex with an incapacitated woman may not be taking advantage of a person against her will.
It was an shortsighted series of thoughts that did anything but foster a healthy dialogue. These comments won’t derail his career, but it certainly won’t do anything to help progress it either.
There has never been a comfortable way to desensitize rape. And hopefully, it never will be.
Correction: Rape charges were never pressed in his 2012 case, but he was sentenced to three years probation and 45 days of community service for a felony count of Ecstasy possession.