I like a lot of different styles of music, so I usually watch at least part of the Grammy Awards. I was surprised and bothered this year to see the way in which the Grammys and the attendant audience celebrated Chris Brown.
You may remember that on Grammy night in 2009, Brown beat up his then girlfriend Rihanna, sending her to the hospital with a badly battered face and teeth bite marks on her arms and fingers. He pled guilty to felony assault and is still on probation (a minor detail apparently overlooked by the Grammy folks in a momentary lapse of moral clarity).
While I haven’t followed the aftermath of the assault in detail, it is my understanding that Brown has not been overly apologetic for what he referred to in print as a “mishap” and that he had a destructive anger tirade on “Good Morning America” after being asked about it.
I’m not suggesting the guy be permanently crucified for this. I think he should do his penance and be able to pursue his career. If his “F.A.M.E.” album really was the best R&B album of the year, go ahead and give him the Grammy. Celebrate his work, but don’t celebrate him by making him a featured performer on the show and don’t scream and yell for him like nothing ever happened.
The Grammys and the audience made a statement about domestic violence, but it was the wrong one.