Chris Brown, Grammys 2012: Did R&B’s Bad Boy Deserve a Second Chance?
Earlier this month, Grammy Awards executive producer Ken Ehrlich explained the decision to welcome known woman beater Chris Brown back to the show by using two words familiar to the R&B star’s defenders: “second chance.” Three years after the singer pleaded guilty to beating up then-girlfriend Rihanna on the eve of the 2009 Grammys, some feel Breezy has done his time and deserved to be at last night’s ceremony, where he performed twice and took home the trophy for Best R&B Album.
“If you’ll note, he has not been on the Grammys for the past few years, and it may have taken us a while to kind of get over the fact that we were the victim of what happened,” Ehrlich said in an interview with ABC News Radio.
See Photos of Chris Brown’s Grammy Performance
That statement — particularly the part in which Ehrlich insinuated that the Grammys, not Rihanna, were the victims of that infamous assault — didn’t sit right with writer Sasha Pasulka, who wrote an impassioned piece for HelloGiggles about how Brown’s Grammy return has been mishandled by the media and treated as a kind of “comeback story.”
“We should be furious,” Pasulka wrote. “Why aren’t we?”
While she’s not alone in finding Brown’s return troubling, others take the extreme opposite view. As Buzzfeed picked up on last night, there exists a subset of young women who are so taken by Brown’s singing and dancing that they’d gladly put their faces in the way of his fists. The site collected 25 disturbing tweets from masochistic female members of Team Breezy, most of whom wrote some variation of, “I’d let Chris Brown beat me up.”
One assumes these ladies are outliers, if they’re even serious, but the fact that Brown has continued to enjoy a successful career raises all sorts of difficult questions. How much penance must a person do before winning back our trust? Are great artists required to be good people? Brown is on probation until 2014, so in the eyes of the law, he’s not yet fully off the hook. The Grammy Awards board members — who just may have their own motives for doing business with a controversial star — are ready to forgive and forget.
As for who’s right, reasonable people are bound to disagree. Unfortunately, unreasonable people send the buzziest tweets.