An Open Letter To Chris Brown
Dear Chris Brown,
I get it. The public eye isn’t always fun. People watch every move you make. They scrutinize your every word.
You’re only 22 years old. Everyone makes mistakes. I get it.
But here’s the problem. Back in February of 2009, you left your then-girlfriend Rihanna bloodied and beaten on the side of the road.
That was a really, really big mistake, Chris. On many levels.
One of the many reasons why it was a big mistake is that your profession requires that people like you. Maybe you find it annoying that people continually bring that incident up; but what you fail to recognize is that many people (still) find your actions that night to be utterly abhorrent and supremely shameful. Now of course, what matters the most is that Rihanna knows that you’re sorry. And I’m sure she does. You don’t necessarily owe the public anything.
But the public doesn’t owe you anything either. We don’t have to like you, Chris. Being a pop star and public figure, you were supposed to mount an intelligent and nuanced campaign of damage control and contrition to get back into the good graces of the public.
You’ve completely fucking botched that campaign, Chris.
You made songs that insinuated that Rihanna should somehow shoulder some responsibility for what occurred that night, and complained about the intense media scrutiny of the incident. Instead of showing true remorse and a desire to search deep within yourself for the root of your actions that night, you whined about your alleged victimhood and demanded a second chance. Everyone deserves a second chance, but that is not how you get one.
The key to winning back the public was honest engagement with your behavior that night. You worked hard to keep yourself out of jail, and no one blames you for that. But you’ve yet to truly face what you did, and it shows.
Since the incident, you’ve scored a few hit songs, seen nude pictures of yourself leak onto the Internet, trashed a dressing room and humiliated yourself on the today show, and become one of the most annoyingly active and polarizing figures in all of social media. You drop homophobic and racially offensive language with ease and engage in ridiculous twitter beefs on a biweekly basis.
Yet, you fired off a twitter rant yesterday, claiming that you’ve had enough of the scrutiny, when it’s obvious that you’re bringing this on yourself, Chris. Proclaiming that your latest album F.A.M.E. is an acronym for “Forgiving All My Enemies”? C’mon Chris!
The world condemned you in the wake of the Rihanna incident, you (and your management team) handled the situation poorly, and now you’ve decided to be the villain the world has made you out to be.
I get it. Really, I do.
But how long do you think this can last? You can’t play the villain forever. Eventually, you’re going to have to come to terms with what happened three years ago.
Or at the very least stop being so fucking annoying.