Whilst Rihanna dances around in her underwear in Kanye West’s new ‘Paraniod’ video (apparently the version leaked today is actually the old one according to Kanye’s blog though), Chris Brown has posted an online video in which he insists that he is not ‘a monster’ and that ‘everybody that’s haters, they just been haters’. He also mentions how he is soon to release a new album.
Now, I’m all for ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and all that, but how are we honestly not supposed to be ‘hating’ Chris Brown at the moment? For those of you unfamiliar with the story, back in February Chris Brown was accused of physically assaulting his then girlfriend, Rihanna, right before the Grammys, and was even accused of threatening to kill her.
Since then an alleged photo of Rihanna’s very bruised and battered face was released, and it was claimed that this was the result of Brown’s attack.
However, it’s still not entirely clear what happened on that fateful night. In fact, Chris Brown is back in court about it today and Rihanna has kept a dignified silence over the whole ordeal. And by dignified silence, I actually mean dignified silence. She hasn’t gone on about keeping one of these and then released the odd bitchy comment when it’s suited her, as most celebrities seem to do.
Chris Brown is pleading ‘not guity’ to the charges and in none of his public statements has he actually admitted having done anything wrong. It has all been very vague. In fact, the whole thing has been very unusual and has left me genuinely wondering what on earth is going on.
Before the incident, neither of them seemed to be in need of a publicity stunt. Rihanna was steadily on track to become one of the biggest female singers in the world. And Chris Brown was doing very successfully with his latest releases, picking up awards and jetting off all over the globe where he was also becoming increasingly popular.
It’s a terrible thing to say, because when it comes to violence of this kind in particular, nothing should ever prevent the attacker from being duly punished for their horrific actions, but if this attack did indeed take place then the only possible reason I can think of that Chris Brown is even able to think about releasing a new album is that there is a LOT of money being shuffled about under the table.
It’s one thing for violence of this kind going on privately but for him to be able to allegedly beat up one of the most popular female stars out there and then to be able to release a new album (someone has surely produced this album) is very strange indeed. If he is proven guilty, is it being presumed by his management that all will quickly be forgiven and forgotten by the public? Or, by virtue of the fact that he hasn’t completely disappeared, never to be able to release an album again, should we presume that he never committed this crime?
A few people I have discussed this with have suggested that maybe he stepped in and was either told to or offered to pretend he did this to her face to stop it getting out that she got hurt another way; a way which could have been more damaging for her career. Maybe so. However, I find this unlikely as first of all he is a (or was) a very successful artist in his own right. And secondly, I personally cannot think of a more damaging piece of publicity for a singer, especially one with such a huge younger fan base.
What confuses me about this is that, given the horrific nature of this alleged crime, and given how much society frowns upon violence of this kind in particular, it seems very strange that, if Brown did not hit her, there hasn’t been a very quick, swift and concrete denial that this ever occurred. Brown and his management must know how damaging this is going to be for his image and therefore his career. However, like I said, there has been nothing of the sort and the whole thing is still slightly up in the air.
I guess the only conclusion we can come to is, as much as celebrities try to present themselves to their fans as though you know them personally, none of us really know what is going on behind the scenes at all. It is a manufactured industry where often a lot of frightening things get shoved under the carpet so that the cash cows can still be functional and so that the shininess of celebrity doesn’t begin to get so dulled that we start to lose interest in it.
One certainty is that in either scenario what has occurred is very sad indeed. Either domestic violence has been used as a cover up for something even more dreadful, or we are going to be expected to forgive someone of domestic violence to the extent that we are even willing to continue to buy their music.