A couple of years ago, I went onto CNN to give measured support for Chris Brown as he was facing tremendous public scrutiny (much of it deserved) for his physical attacks on the singer Rihanna. I wasn’t trying to say that Chris was a good person; instead, I was arguing that he was a young kid who is not beyond redemption.
The bottom line was that Chris Brown is not a monster.
After hearing about his outburst today on Good Morning America, I am starting to think that Chris might be determined to become a monster. If he’s not a monster, he’s at least a damn idiot.
Being unable to handle the questions that Robin Roberts threw at him about the Rihanna incident, Chris allegedly went crazy in the dressing room, yelling so loud that they called security. He even busted out a window, with glass falling to the ground below. For a finale, Brown stormed out of the building with no shirt on, all for the public to see.
I’m not sure if Chris’ publicist is going insane over this or celebrating. There are times when celebs do crazy and outrageous things to promote their brand in the public eye or to gain attention for their work. Given that Chris has embraced this interesting bad boy image as of late, it’s not out of the question that he now finds that going nuts in public or getting arrested will actually help him to sell more records. He is, after all, now performing with men like Lil Wayne, who make a living out of doing their black Charlie Sheen imitations.
But if it is the case that this outburst was not planned, then I am sincerely concerned about Chris’ lack of discipline and self-control. By behaving like a monster in front of the American public, Brown has confirmed for millions that he is every bit as violent, volatile and dangerous as Rihanna made him out to be. I am personally disappointed by all this, because I wanted to believe that Chris could be better than that.
Expect to see Chris in handcuffs sometime soon, since he is still on probation and could easily be sent to jail over this. Either way, this is a sad day for Brown and a sad day for everyone who wanted to believe in him. This brother needs to learn to keep his cool.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a professor at Syracuse University. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.