Controversial R&B singer Chris Brown’s appearance on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” was abruptly canceled on Tuesday night without any official reasoning from Comedy Central or Brown. The cancellation came a day after a report appeared claiming that some of the show’s staffers were uncomfortable with the singer appearing on the program.
Although TV Guide and cable systems still listed Brown as the guest on “The Daily Show” when the program started, that notion was shot down when Noah announced at the top of the show that he would be interviewing actor Nick Cannon. (The show’s Instagram account confirmed Cannon as the guest a few hours earlier.)
A Comedy Central spokeswoman said guest bookings are always subject to change. “The show hopes to reschedule Chris for a future appearance,” the rep said.
It was a day of bad news for Brown: Tuesday afternoon, Billboard reported that Brown’s pending tour in Australia and New Zealand (to promote his new album dropping later this month) had been canceled. “In September, the Australian government warned it had plans to formally deny Brown’s visa because of his criminal conviction for assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009,” Billboard wrote.
On Monday, Andrew Kirell of The Daily Beast wrote that anonymous “Daily Show” sources said staffers were divided over Brown, citing his history of violence. Brown was also charged with misdemeanor assault in Washington two years ago while he was on probation.
Kirell reported that Noah, who took over “The Daily Show” from Jon Stewart in September, considered using Brown’s appearance on the comedy show for a serious moment. “While many staffers disapprove of the booking decision, host Trevor Noah allegedly hopes to use the interview to bring light to domestic abuse issues,” Kirell explained. “Our sources confirmed that Noah brought up such a possibility during an all-hands meeting on Monday afternoon.”
(This post was updated with a statement from Comedy Central.)