The Opposite of a Lesson in Stopping Abuse – aka The Grammys

On Sunday evening the producers of the Grammy’s acknowledged the loss of Whitney Houston with a tribute from Jennifer Hudson. Hudson’s performance was touching and well received. Houston lived a very public battle with both an abusive spouse (Bobby Brown) and a dependency on drugs.

In an ironic commentary (at least to my eyes) on domestic violence, Chris Brown was the performer immediately following Hudson’s tribute to Whitney. In 2009 Chris Brown was convicted of felony assault on his then girlfriend Rihanna and received 5 years probation. His 2011 album (for which he won a Grammy) has been touted as his comeback album. 

As I sat horrified watching this celebration of Brown (on two separate performances at the Grammy’s), I asked myself if I remembered the history correctly. A little wikipedia, a little Goggle, and I learned that I was correct. After fact checking, it became abundantly clear that in my mind Brown has been too easily forgiven.

Celebrities these days like to crow “I am not a role model.” In this area, I beg to differ. You want me, my kids, and my babysitters to buy your music/perfume/books/underwear? You are putting yourself out there asking for our money, you therefore, like it or not are a role model. Believe me when I tell you we are watching. Little ears are listening, and they are stunned. When did domestic violence become acceptable and so easily forgivable?

When asked about Brown, Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich said he was actually “kind of rooting for Brown.”

“I just believe people deserve a second chance,” he told Gayle King on “CBS This Morning” on Monday. “The year he had this year, really brought him back into the public. He really deserved a second chance.”

Sorry? I am not sure I heard that correctly. Why does he deserve a second chance? Has he publicly apologized? Has he used his time not making music to bring money AND much needed education to domestic violence? At only 22 years old, I am not sure that Brown has the maturity or depth of understanding of the crime he committed to move forward. Conversely, the music industry seems to have welcomed him back with open arms and awards with nary a slap on the wrist. Brown is not making a comeback, but rather kept a low profile for a few years until his ‘people’ felt the public had forgotten. I for one have not.

Are we really going to sit idly by and tell the music industry that this is acceptable?