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On January 22, news broke that Chris Brown was being detained in Paris, France for rape allegations. In the wake of Lifetime’s Surviving R Kelly and the #MeToo Movement, the internet did not take the allegations against R&B singer Chris Brown lightly. Press sites and social media quickly began to denounce the singer and bring up his criminal past. Brown’s 2009 domestic violence case was highly publicized, along with his other run-ins with the law and tumultuous relationships. Despite his rocky past, in recent years Chris Brown has been staying out of the media and trouble. Many believe this can be attributed to his new role as a father to his daughter Royalty Brown.
Today, January 23, Chris Brown is a free man with no pending charges. The woman alleged to have accused Brown of aggravated rape has denied his involvement. According to sources close to the singer, Brown is planning to sue for defamation. So, why were people so quick to switch from rooting for Chris Brown's turn around to canceling him without waiting for the facts to come out?
Cancel culture has been in full-effect recently! The #MeToo Movement has called for the cancellation of many men including, but not limited to: Russell Simmons, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., and R Kelly. In the age of cellphones and social media, many are getting caught in the act of sexual misconduct and the internet is allowing no slack for the accused, charged, and/or convicted sexual predators, but what does that mean for the wrongfully accused?
After it was stated that Chris Brown had been released and cleared of all wrong doing, there weren’t many jumping to apologize for the judgement they had cast upon him. The news that he was released and cleared barely got any coverage. Brown was talked about amongst everyday people, public figures, and even talk show hosts. Keep in mind this was all BEFORE the details were released.
Are we as a culture too quick to cancel the accused ? Can we find the balance between holding someone accountable and crucifying them? It’s honestly hard to say. Take the R Kelly situation for example; even though there is ample evidence showing sexual predatory and misconduct, the singer has never been convicted of anything. As of right now, all that Kelly has against him are allegations, but he’s canceled (and rightfully so). Is it fair to put someone like R Kelly in the same boat as someone in Chris Brown’s shoes? At the end of the day, the both were only accused, not convicted. Is it fair to put Brown in the same boat as someone like Bill Cosby who has been charged and had multiple allegations against him? Brown was only accused and was being put in the same boat as men who have been convicted and men we have seen commit predatory acts firsthand (like R Kelly and Bill Cosby). Is there no innocence until proven guilty in the social media cancelation court when it comes to sexual assault?
In no way do I support any sexual predators (male, female, young, old, etc), but I do feel there needs to be a better way of dealing with the accused. Accusations shouldn’t be the end all be all of a person and when we find out that these accusations are false, the accuser(s) should be held accountable for their actions, just as we expect from the accused.
There’s no question as to whether Chris Brown deserves an apology. HE DOES. We jumped to conclusions and spoke things of him that were not true. Hopefully something great can come out of the ugliness that social media has stirred up. Maybe we can use this situation as a lesson that accused does not equal guilty in every case.