Yes, a Sheen can get away with far more than a Brown can, but both noted domestic abusers are fortunate enough to be part of a society that doesn’t seem to respect women enough to take domestic violence seriously. Brown beat up one of the world’s biggest pop stars, and in two years he has gone on to once again become a radio staple and book high-profile gigs like Good Morning America and Dancing With the Stars. If he doesn’t want to talk about Rihanna anymore, he should hire a publicist who will make sure that stops happening.
But should it happen anyway, he ought to learn how to deal with it. He looked so visibly bothered by Roberts’ line of questioning that even I felt uncomfortable watching it. There’s a better way to handle the situation, and if there’s anyone he could look to for guidance, that person is the subject of the questions that irk him so.
Recently, Rihanna herself seemed bothered when a writer for Fabulous magazine tried to goad her into a conversation about Brown. The editor made note of how she flatly said, “You obviously want to talk about Chris Brown; I don’t.”
And there it is. Maybe Brown couldn’t get away with conveying that sentiment in that strong a tone, but he’s good-looking, with big, white teeth. All he has to do in the future is smile and say he’s moved on. Maybe the reason he can’t say it is that he hasn’t truly done that. When I watched Brown sob during his tribute to Michael Jackson at the 2010 BET Awards, I felt bad for him and wanted to root for his success. These days, I wonder if there were other reasons he was too choked up to finish his performance of “Man in the Mirror.”
His rabidly loyal fans can lay blame with other people, but it won’t change the fact that throwing a chair is immature and petty — not to mention a potential violation of his probation.
The title of Brown’s new album, F.A.M.E., is a dual acronym for “Forgiving All My Enemies” and “Fans Are My Everything.” Fans are indeed everything, including enablers of his bad behavior. Brown may have enemies, but his biggest enemy continues to be himself.