Chris Brown returned to the Grammy Awards in a big way Sunday, performing twice and taking home the award for best R&B album. His appearance was the first since he assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna on the eve of the awards show three years prior.
The decision to allow the artist to perform twice despite the fact that he pleaded guilty to assault angered and confused many fans, says Sarah Anne Hughes of Celebritology:
While the reception to Brown in the Staples Center was warm, there was a strong backlash on Twitter against his presence.
Shortly after Brown performed for the first time, the term “WomanBeater” began trending. The hashtag was used both by his critics and by Team Breezy members, who seem used to doing battle for their idol.
The police report from the assault — which details the violent attack that led to Brown’s conviction for felony assault — also began making the rounds on Twitter, as did Buzzfeed’s compilation of 25 troubling reactions to his performance.
Writers and critics expressed discontent following the announcement of Brown’s participation in the event. Grammy executive producer, Ken Ehrlich, anticipating the backlash, made a statement justifying the controversial artist’s inclusion in the show:
“I think people deserve a second chance, you know. 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.”
Valerie Strauss of The Answer Sheet said it is fair for fans to ask the 2012 Grammy producers why they thought it was a good message to send to young people:
The people behind the Grammys made a point of saying at the show that the Grammy Foundation donates millions of dollars to public schools to help them fund music education programs. There is an annual competition in which schools can apply to become a winner, eligible to receive grants of between $1,000 and $10,000 each.
If the Grammys wants to be seen as doing good for public schoolchildren, the organization ought to think about the messages it sends. The last thing young people need to see is an organization that represents the music they love give an early pass to a man convicted of felony assault — and one who didn’t think it necessary to ask for forgiveness from his community when he accepted an award he won Sunday night.
Likewise, Post critic Chris Richards questioned Brown’s apology-free acceptance speech:
Brown hopped up and down a terraced stage like a pop-locking Q*bert, trying to dance his way to America’s forgiveness. He was arrested for assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna on the eve of the 2009 Grammys, but his acceptance speech after winning best R&B album included no act of contrition. When Chris Brown is getting more airtime than Whitney Houston, there’s a serious problem.
Fellow Grammy-award winner Miranda Lambert let made her disapproval of Brown’s performances and win known via Twitter, the Associated Press reports:
She tweeted on Monday: “He beat on a girl...not cool that we act like that didn’t happen.”
Lambert suggested Brown listen to her song “Gunpowder & Lead” about avenging domestic violence and “be put back in his place. Not at the Grammys.”
But Brown seems unphased by the criticism, taking to his own Twitter account to respond, says Jen Chaney of Celebritology:
“HATE ALL U WANT BECUZ I GOT A GRAMMY Now!” he wrote yesterday afternoon, as noted by Mashable. “That’s the ultimate [BLEEP] OFF!”
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