Should We Forgive Chris Brown?

It has been quite a hard week for fragile flower petal, Chris Brown. While promoting his new album Don’t Hate Me Because I Beat Women Up (J/K. It’s called F.A.M.E.) on Good Morning America, Brown fielded some tough questions about that time he beat the shit out of his then-girlfriend Rihanna. Appearing visibly annoyed during the interview, Brown later threw a tantrum in his dressing room in which he cracked a window with a chair, screamed at GMA producers, and removed his shirt for some inexplicable reason. He then took to his Twitter to say, “I’m so over people bringing this past s**t up!!! Yet we praise Charlie sheen and other celebs for there bulls**t.” He has since deleted the tweet. Last night, Brown appeared on BETs 106 & Park to clear the air and essentially say, “I’m sorry if you were offended by my insane meltdown, but I’m tired of talking about the whole Rihanna thing.”

Chris Brown may be tired of talking about his sordid past, but are we? Right after the incident with Rihanna, Brown was vilified by the general public and sent to live as a pop star pariah. His follow-up record Graffiti tanked, and the general consensus seemed to be that a killer pop song < A freak who beats up women.  Since then, however, things have changed. His new record has spawned three Number One singles and holds the top spot on iTunes, showing that people are ready to forgive him for being a douchebag and embrace those killer hip-pop hooks of his again!

But we shouldn’t forgive and forget just yet. You see, Chris Brown is sort of a turd. Not only does he like to slap the ladies around, he’s also homophobic.  And if his meltdown at GMA this week proves anything, it’s that he still suffers from severe anger management issues—the same issues that probably led him to abuse his girlfriend. Quite frankly, he also doesn’t seem to be very apologetic about anything either. His bratty behavior has shown that he doesn’t necessarily still feel guilt over what happened. Rather, he just seems annoyed that it could derail the success of his new super hot Top 40-filled album. I’m not saying that Chris Brown has to wear a scarlet letter on his chest for the rest of his life. But he has to accept that it will forever be a part of the narrative of his career. If a journalist wants to bring it up, he has to deal with it — not destroy a dressing room and scream at producers. Like I said, having that kind of angry reaction shows that Brown is not out of the woods in dealing with his personal problems. He still has the capacity to be a violent raging asshole. And for that, we should put Chris Brown back in the oven for a bit because he ain’t done yet. TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Jesper Dahl

    Screw him, he deserves it.
    And I for one condone Sheen's abusive behavior towards women as well.
    What both CB and CS have done to women in their lives should not be forgotten or forgiven.

    • Andrew F.

      Condone =/= Condemn.

      • Tim

        Lol now that's a solid Malapropism.

  • Fakes and Ladders

    I'm so sick of reading about this imbecile and giving him the attention that he so desperately craves.

    • Steven Fiveoseveniam Lazaroff

      my thoughts exactly. and more to the point: i'm not quite sure why an otherwise meaningful publication like TC has this kind of inane celebrity worship as part of its repertoire (as well as some other self-indulgences..). sometimes it's ok to not be all things to all people. we need more bsg and daniel coffeen and less of this. there is tension caused by contradiction when the same publication features a piece like coffeen's 'resistance' today and then this. ugh. i am disgusted.

      • wackomet

        because even when the characters are celebrities, “how do we deal with someone who has done something terrible to someone else” is an eternal and serious-ass question

      • Ryan O'Connell

        hey beb! I'm the executive editor at Thought Catalog which means that besides writing a shitload of content, I help steer the editorial vision of the blog. This “tension” you write about is what makes TC so great. The marriage of lowbrow and highbrow is a deliberate choice. Daniel Coffeen and BSG's think pieces work well next to the articles written by writers like myself, Lesley Arfin, Dan Hoffman, and our rapid growth shows that many people agree! I'm sorry you don't think so. The beauty of our site design though is that you don't have to click on anything you don't want to.


      • Steven Fiveoseveniam Lazaroff

        fair enough, rye. after the fact it occurred to me that i might be 'picking a battle' with the editor on this one – ha ha. so be it. it's not like 'thought' isn't mutually inclusive of both high and low brows. you've gotta be faithful to your creation and i have to play the role of community member.

        you are correct that i don't have to click on anything i don't want to. i probably shouldn't have clicked on this one as i know how i feel about lowbrow celebrity gossip and public applause or flagellation for said celebrities.

        to be fair, i do find the mix of pieces to be diverse and interesting. just one of those things where coffeen's piece left me frustrated all day and then i came upon this which i view as counterproductive to larger discussions of human progress. so, it's not true at all that i find the 'editorial vision of the blog' to be unsuccessful because i come here daily and have turned more than a few onto it. it's just a difference of philosophy – and you win. obviously. haha.


  • Dan

    So, short answer: No.

    Also – the correct answer. Fuck him and the little red bus he rode in on.

  • nic

    No mercy. Fuck that guy.

  • dip

    He's pretty delusional if anyone laughing at Charlie Sheen is “praising” him

    • Julene

      I think there's a lot of Sheen-worship going around on the internet. Have you seen the plethora of t-shirts, prints, interviews, posts relating to his outings & further media-follow up with that loon?

      I don't want to say C.B. has a point but… he sort of does. Damn. Don't you just hate when assholes do that?

      • cowgoesrowr

        Hate it, but sounds like CB was trying to say “Well if CS can do it, why can't I??” Like he's a spoiled 5 year old whining to his mom.

      • Guest


  • aestheticallychallenged

    No. Self-explanatory.

  • Omar De Col

    think people are missing something important here: christ brown is also a racist (gosh, did you see how many times he used the n-word in those tweets? #prayformercy)

    • Fakes and Ladders


      • Omar De Col

        damn, that was a good typo

  • SisterRay

    I don't think I had really heard of him before the whole Rihanna thing. And after that, who needs him? Fuck that.

  • Zaid Elliott

    Maybe if he shown true remorse.
    His actions show how empty his pleas for forgiveness are.

  • Aja

    I think the general verdict is “no” . No, we are not ready to forgive Chris Brown. Maybe when he stops acting like a turd, that will change.

  • Thanks

    i want to say no but i listen to fela kuti so who knows!

  • Conor Foley

    I agree that he hasn't shown remorse to the satisfaction of many, myself included.

  • Lindseycm

    not to say CB doesn't deserve the vilification he's getting, but there are a lot of other celebrities who beat women as well. It's just that most of those women aren't famous. i think it's really sad that the beating of girlfriends, wives, porn stars, hookers by celebrities doesn't engender the same disgust as what CB did to Rhianna. it's sad to say and I think it's completely wrong, but CB is right, we live in a society where violence against women really isn't that big a deal. I mean Charlie Sheen has beat up several women, but you can't name one of them or even really remember that it happened. CB picked the wrong girl to f*** with. Otherwise, we wouldn't be talking about this right now.

  • To

    The people who pump money into his lifestyle (his fans) are obiviously ready to forgive him.. and in the music/entertainment industry that's all that matters, although the media does pick and choose who is going to be a pariah (brown) or someone praised for doing bad things (sheen). The media also should be held accountable because no one truly knows the real story and should not place blame because most of what we see has been manipulated. This should be a continual social discourse instead of acting like it doesn't occur daily and pointing fingers at celebutards.

  • erin

    I know Chris Brown is a total douche but I love that song “Deuces”. Ugh. Why do I listen to shitty pop/rap music, knowing that its creators are complete douches? This is what I think:

  • jezebel
  • Lily

    Totally agree with TO and LINDSEYCM. And you gotta love those non-apology apologies: “I'm sorry if you were offended” – akin to “I'm sorry if you thought that was racist/homophobic/sexist.” More like “I'm sorry that I can't throw a fucking tantrum without being worried about being held accountable.”

  • Guest

    The last time I threw a temper tantrum was Freshman year of high school over something dumb.  I reflected on why I got so angry, figured I was a brat with a mild anger issue and started dealing with it. Haven’t had one since and FUCK things are so much nicer when you stop and explain why you’re angry rather than just screaming and throwing things.

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