The backlash started as soon as Grammy producers announced that Chris Brown would make his return to the Grammy Awards a mere 3 years after the R&B star pummeled then girlfriend (and pop megastar) Rihanna’s face after an argument ensued on the eve of The Grammy Awards in 2009. No, not only would Brown be nominated in the category of “Best R&B Album” for his fourth LP, FAME, he would also perform not once, but twice.
Sasha Pasulka of HelloGiggles wrote one of the most passionate and thoughtful articles on why it’s not OK as a collective whole that music fans, industry folks, and even your general public support Brown’s return to The Grammys. And I couldn’t agree with the post more. It quickly spread on Facebook.
When Brown took the stage for the first of two performances during the record-breaking telecast, Twitter whipped into a frenzy as viewers in a show of solidarity changed the channel or took a bathroom break to boycott, but clearly that wasn’t enough. The singer went on to win a Grammy and then of course returned to the stage for his final performance. I’ll put it this way, collectively, Chris Brown received more air-time than both Etta James and Whitney Houston tributes. That’s disgusting. Furthermore, Brown couldn’t even figure out how to be a man, accept his award, and move on. Rather, he opted to go on a vile Twitter rant, clearly not realizing that all of the world is (still) watching him. And rather than proving everyone wrong, he went ahead and proved himself to be a petulant child.
To Chris Brown: While there are always two sides to every story. You can’t deny photographic evidence of the damage you did to Rihanna’s face. Let me remind you (and all of the world) what that looked like – because people have clearly forgotten. That being said, you’re not the first man to ever hit a woman and you won’t be the last (sadly). However, you have the power on a grand scale to be an advocate against domestic abuse. You have the ability to show the world you’re a changed man, to show remorse — that you deserve to have honors bestowed upon you for your music, but rather, you choose to remind us all that you’re undeserving of all the luxuries you’ve been awarded… including your talent. As you were being honored at the Grammys, young women everywhere declared their willingness to let them beat you… speak out. Say this is wrong. Instead you chose to tweet this, “HATE ALL U WANT BECUZ I GOT A GRAMMY Now! That’s the ultimate FUCK OFF!” Of course, you realized the error of your way and deleted the tweet, but Chris, there’s this wonderful feature called a SCREENSHOT. Anything you say on the Internet is written in ink… how about you remember THAT for once?
To Grammy Producers: Where to begin? So much wrong here. First of all, there was the initial public statement from executive producer Ken Ehrlich, “We’re glad to have him back. 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.” How dismissive of you, Ehrlich? You’ve basically just spat in the face of anyone (man or woman) who has ever been abused. Furthermore, you essentially made Chris Brown the Britney Spears of The Grammy Awards, meaning, you used him for ratings, to stir the pot in mainstream media… and we (including Brown) fell for it hook…line…and sinker. Nominate him for an award, fine. Allow him to perform twice when there are clearly way more deserving artists is a joke.
To Young Women (and Men): Violence is NEVER the answer. Never. You all also deserve a stern reminder that what you write on the Internet will follow you forever. Tweets you send, photos you post on Facebook, blogs, all of these things can (and will) come back to haunt you. If Chris Brown is your role model of choice (god help us all!) then at least learn from his mistakes. Show humility, show restraint, do not post vile vile rants and then (attempt to) delete them when you come to your senses. Someone is always watching.
To Rihanna: If the rumors are true… and you’re still communicating with Chris Brown — well, I pray for you.