The Chris Brown Question

See? Ignoring everything else, this would be enough to make me not like him.

If you are a human-type person then you have probably heard about the Chris Brown/Rihanna ickiness.  The latest news in this non-scripted Hollywood drama is that Chris Brown and Rihanna are dating again and have recorded a song together that will be released on her next album. So, that’s a thing that’s happening. Of course, I don’t know if it’s really really happening but all the interwebs is abuzz with news of it so, for now, let’s assume that it’s a thing that’s happening.

In general, I’m not too involved in the lives of celebrities, unless we are talking about the Katy Perry/Russell Brand divorce because in that case I am absolutely devastated and hope those crazy kids can work it out someday. Other than that one exception, I usually skim through a Jezebel Dirtbag article every once in a while for kicks and giggles and only listen half-heartedly when people around me are discussing celebrity gossip. Lately though, it seems like all the talk has been about the Chris Brown/Rihanna saga and I have to admit that I’ve found myself listening and participating in the conversation, if only because I think there are bigger issues at play than who is dating who in Hollyweird. (See what I did there? I called it Hollyweird so people know how independent of social conventions I am.)  Out of all the discussion, and opinions, and judging that is surrounding this saga, there is one question I have heard/read over and over again, “When do we forgive Chris Brown?”

Ummmmm….we don’t. We don’t forgive Chris Brown. Not because he’s a violent person unworthy of forgiveness but because what he did wasn’t directed at us. Chris Brown didn’t beat the shit out of me, so what do I have to forgive him for? I really don’t think it’s a matter of forgiveness from the public’s perspective. I think the only person who has a right to forgive or not forgive Chris Brown is Rihanna. It was her face getting punched, not mine or yours. Let’s leave the forgiveness to her.

Now, having said that, it doesn’t mean that I have to like Chris Brown. Because I don’t. I really really don’t.  From what I’ve seen and read, he is violent, homophobic, volatile, sexist, and not that great of a singer, although, I will happily concede he is an excellent dancer.  I don’t have to like him but it’s not up to me to forgive or not forgive him. His transgression wasn’t against me. So, let’s drop this “Forgive Chris Brown” and “Don’t forgive Chris Brown” discussion unless your name is Rihanna and you’re a pop star. However, feel free to discuss how much you do or don’t like him – in fact, the comments section of this blog would be a good place for that.  😉


38 thoughts on “The Chris Brown Question

  1. zomg. All of this. In my brain. Out on blog. When it first happened – there was a public outcry for Chris Brown to apologize to us. Umm.. for what? Yea, what he did is highly effed up but he didn’t do it *me* and he doesn’t owe *me* anything, least of all an apology. If Rihanna has forgiven Chris Brown enough to agree with removal of a restraining order, go on vacation with him, and collaborate on a horrible new song about oral sex then I think it’s time the media let it go.

    Is he a shitty person? Yea, probably. Does that make him different than most of the famous artists/athletes/celebutwats worshiped in the media daily? Sure doesn’t.

  2. We don’t forgive. If he’s sorry so to speak it’s disingenuous because he’s such a jerk. I would say celebrities get scrutinized and sometimes receive unfair publicity. This guy however tweets this stuff. He proves he is everything we think he is a spoiled narcissist. Now then, Mike Tyson went to prison for rape right? It doesn’t seem to be the whole country hates that guy, actually, the consensus is “wow, he’s funny…who knew?” after his Funny or Die videos.He seems humbled though, and he seems like he’s not a total all out jerk. He committed a serious crime right? It doesn’t seem to plague him today. Fact is, Chris Brown makes me want to slap him like a mother would a back talking teen. I don’t care about his music b/c I can’t stand him. I don’t care how he dances b/c I don’t want to look at him. People probably don’t care that he beat his girlfriend…they just don’t like him. Love the post.

    • Thanks so much! I think you raise a lot of good point here, one being that what he did isn’t uncommon with celebrities but the way he has continued to act is. Most celebrities who commit crimes seem to be somewhat sorry about it and act humbled, Chris Brown doesn’t at all. But I think it all comes down to people judging/hating him not because we haven’t “forgiven” him for what he did but because he is inherently unlikable as a person. Thanks for a great comment!

  3. I completely agree. I felt the same way when the public was demanding an apology from Tiger Woods and then he did this big press conference with an apology to “us.” Um, I don’t care. I might think you are a philandering jerk, but please save any contrition you have for your wife and kids. We, as the “public”, are not owed anything. I do wish the Grammy’s hadn’t brought Chris Brown back like he was some prodigal son, but like you said, there is only one person who truly has to decide if/when to forgive him. I just wish she wouldn’t forget. Thanks for the great commentary!

    • Absolutely! I hadn’t thought much about Tiger Woods when writing this but it totally applies in his case as well, he didn’t have to apologize to me, I wasn’t the woman he was unfaithful to, but just because he doesn’t owe me an apology doesn’t mean I have to like him. Great thoughts!

  4. Yes, yes, yes and yes.

    What he’s done probably isn’t dissimilar to what a million other guys have done and still do. IE, act like a complete douche. And yet, are we the world asking/telling people to forgive them? No, because the world doesn’t give a rat’s arse.

    Why should we about Chris Brown? Because he’s a celebrity? Because he’s in the limelight and should be setting an example? That’s his deal and no one elses. We should we even care?

    • Exactly. We aren’t calling for universal apologies from everyone who has ever committed a crime and they don’t owe us one unless their crimes were committed against us. Chris Brown may be a celebrity but that doesn’t mean we have to like him or give a good damn about anything he does.

  5. Such a true statement as to how WRAPPED UP we are in celebrities lives! I have myself to blame, but I certainly do not lose sleep about whether or not Rihanna has forgiven CB yet. To be quite honest, I would hope that every girl who gets the crap beat out of them receives public attention to decrease the likelihood of this horrible situation. Regardless of whether or not you’re a pop star. Great writing, great points! I enjoy your blog immensely.

  6. I don’t keep up with celebrities at all. In fact, I’m so much out of the loop that I can’t match faces and names together with very much accuracy. So what he has or hasn’t done or whether events are true or exaggerated mean little to me. All I know is that his song With You will always be one of my favourites. The first time I’d heard it was when my boyfriend had sung it to me, and I had no clue who this Chris Brown character was at the time. Besides, all the celebrities I used to like when I was a kid have all ended up disappointing me, and turned out to be messed up in some way: Ashton Kutcher = cheater; LIndsay Lohan = healthy -> druggie wraith; Avril Lavigne = cool tomboy -> crazy girl who “doesn’t like your girlfriend”; Olsen twins = skeletal twins; Brittany Spears = shaved her head. Therefore, I think most celebrities are too crazy to take seriously anyway.

    • If his songs mean something special to you then they should continue meaning something special to you. And I completely agree that getting caught up in celebrity lives isn’t worth our time.

  7. Yea…. I could give a rat’s ass if they are back together or not.
    However I am taking bets…. not that Rhianna is going to get beat again… cause that would be just morbid.
    More like if he gets all Fatal Atrraction on her or becomes like J-Lo’s husband in the movie Enough.
    I hope its the later so Rhianna can kick his ass after training from someone like Jay-Z.
    Wow… your post was like therapy. I need a new hobby.

    • This therapy session was free but the next one will cost you. 😉 Also, I really hope they make a movie where Jay-Z trains women to fight back- I would watch the hell out of that!

  8. Interesting topic. Thanks for putting it out there. I am afraid I disagree with your premise. By extension when anyone weaker is assaulted we are all victims. Was my face beaten? No. Was I hurt by it? Yes. Mr. Brown does not need forgiveness. He needs to not do it again.

    • I guess I’m not clear on how I was hurt by it, I was appalled by it certainly, but having never been beaten by my significant other I couldn’t possibly claim to have been victimized the way she was. I’m more of the mind that when anyone weaker is assaulted we are all called to defend them as opposed to becoming victims by extension. I think there can be a way of standing in support of victims without taking their victimization onto ourselves. We weren’t victims, we were witnesses and are therefore called in a different way to stand by them

    • I haven’t really sorted out how I feel about that yet. On the one hand I feel extremely uncomfortable judging or criticizing a victim of abuse and on the other hand I think she has chosen a life in the limelight that puts her in a position of being a role-model whether she likes it or not and she needs to act more responsibly.

  9. I agree, no reason for me to forgive Chris Brown, though I would like to bitch slap him. Better yet, I’ll hold him and let Rhianna do it. She may not want to now, but give her some time.

  10. Interesting. I don’t care about celebrities. I really just don’t. And no, I don’t think it is our place to forgive him, but to be honest, I really don’t want Rihanna to forgive him either. Being public and popular and famous means more than it should in our world, and if someone who is all these things forgives someone who beat them like that — particularly someone who shows no remorse about it — it’s making a public statement that that kind of beating is acceptable. Rihanna’s fan base involves a lot of young females. I just don’t like that message coming from someone who might be a role model for them.

    • I struggle with my feelings on this. Yes, I think she is a role model and needs to act responsibly but I also think that abusive relationships are extremely complicated and difficult to break away from. I’m not a psychologist so I can’t really speak to her state of mind but I imagine she would do well with a lot of therapy.

      • I agree with what you’re saying too. Very little is black and white, really. I think this one is a little fresh to me because the other day I was reading — was it here? — this awful list of facebook or twitter posts of women who were basically saying that Chris Brown would be welcome to come around and beat *them* up any day. I found it very disturbing.

      • I agree with that perspective completely, and wonder what your thoughts are on celebrities needing to be “role models” for the general public. In my opinion, they’re sort of the opposite of role models and parents need to teach their children that celebrities are not mentors or examples of real life, I guess.

        • It’s something I go back and forth on. I definitely agree that morals and ethics should originate from the home and community but I also think that a lot of kids don’t have great homes or communities so they look somewhere else for guidance and increasingly where they look to is hollowood/celebrities, which puts the celebrities in the position of being role models. In general, I think we should all just try to live our lives with kindness and common human decency and then maybe we can do away with this concept of “role models” because we will all be great examples of human beings. Sadly, I don’t think that’s going to happen….

  11. I for one was appalled by the amount of “Chris Brown can beat me anytime because he’s so hot” tweets that I’ve seen. So domestic violence is okay. Now with Rihanna going back to an unapologetic douchebag, a million more impressionable bimbos are going to think that battered wife syndrome is the new hot trend.

    Maybe it’s not our place to forgive or whatever, but I sure as hell blame them for being partially responsible for the world becoming a dumber place.

    • I don’t disagree with you. Especially after I read about those tweets and such. It completely minimizes the suffering of victims of abuse as a whole- not just Rihannas and I find it very disheartening.

    • Yeah, I agree. What in the world is up with women endorsing violence? Is it the same women that call other women sluts and bitches and propagate the image that we’re all catty psychos?

      • I saw a Facebook update from a woman who resented the gender equality battle because it meant she had to get a job. Women like these are really trying to drive society back to the stone age!

  12. While you are certainly correct that, as the internet, it’s not our place to forgive Chris Brown, I also posit that it is our place to never let him forget how much of a shitty person he is.

  13. I have to be another one of those people to bring up how totally weird and unrealistic Hollywood is. Jay-Z repeatedly stabbed someone and didn’t even go to jail, Chris Brown beat Rihanna up and then she made millions off of writing about how she likes to be beat up, and Beyonce may or may not have faked her pregnancy. What in the H-E-Double Hockeysticks is going on up in that joint?!

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