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#MeToo Moves Forward but Why Do We Still Support Chris Brown?

Did we all forget his violent past and present?

Photo credit: Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

The #MeToo movement has made some major moves in the way the world looks at sexual assault, and for the most part, things seem to be moving forward, however, the music industry has turned a blind eye to certain artists' past discrepancies, while we're all distracted with Hollywood. Since I’ve been alive, music has had a long history of objectifying women and using sexuality to sell records. Now with the #MeToo movement, it seems as if we are beginning to hold the powerful accountable for their actions, and calling people out, but that is not always the case. Male artists who have been caught and convicted of assault against women remain at the top of the charts and unscathed by a movement that has shaken the country. 

While there are many music producers and artists to use as an example, I’d rather focus on one that has prevailed, despite his obvious wrongdoing and alarming acts against women and anyone who stands in his way. Chris Brown. We can all agree on a few facts about Chris Brown, he is a talented dancer, an incredible singer, has catchy hits and is extremely rich. But after you strip all that away, he is a textbook abuser, with countless warning signs of anger issues. 

A History of Violence

Let’s start from the beginning. Brown pleaded guilty to assault charges for beating his ex-girlfriend unconscious, who also happens to be one of the biggest pop stars in the world. If you live under a rock and don’t know the full story, read the police report for a unbiased look. The incident, which occurred in 2009, happened when Instagram wasn't popular and politically charged discussions were not taking place on social media. People weren't concerned about being politically correct and still referred to others as fags and retards. Hashtag movements had yet to exist. So, when the assault happened, the majority of the focus was put on the scandal rather than sparking outrage on Twitter for the true monster Brown showed himself to be.

Almost a decade after the assault, Chris Brown remains untouched and celebrated as an icon in pop music. The brutal assault against Rihanna is not an isolated incident. Brown has shown his true self time and time again, but somehow, people continue to buy into his comeback kid persona and forget his long resume of violence.

In 2014, he plead guilty for punching a fan who tried taking a selfie with him. Brown was ordered to pay $150 in court costs and was jailed for two days. Two years later, he punched a photographer at a club for trying to take pictures of him. And in 2016, he was accused of threatening a woman at gunpoint inside his home. When police responded to the scene he answered them by saying “I’m tired of this s-- I’m a father. I am one of the best entertainers out there.” Classic. In 2017, his own girlfriend, Karruche Tran, filed a restraining order against him to “protect my safety."

Most Recent Allegations

Just this past May, a woman filed a lawsuit claiming she was assaulted in Brown’s home. In her statement, she says she was pressured into attending a party hosted by the singer and rapper Young Lo, back in 2017. She alleged that Brown barricaded the bedroom, gave her drugs and was forced to give oral sex to Young Lo and another woman who was also attending the party. She also described the event as “horrific sexual assault." Although Brown was not accused of rape, he was complicit. If found guilty both parties could face some serious jail time. The case is still pending.

I could write a college dissertation on Brown’s behavior that is highly unacceptable for someone of his stature in pop music. Given the public annihilation of Louis C.K, Matt Lauer and so much more, we should all be outraged at the singer. Chris Brown has an obvious issue with anger, especially with women, but somehow, his music comes on and we suddenly forget his past, as if we were under a spell. As #MeToo continues to make waves nationally and continues to call out sexual harassers in every industry, as consumers, we should denounce Brown’s actions and stop supporting his career moves. We can’t pick and choose industries and situations, Brown may not be Harvey Weinstein, but do we have to wait until he is charged with more serious crimes? We need to take a close look at what we support and where we draw the line. Times are changing and the time is now to stop giving Chris Brown any more chances. 

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