Why Is The Music Industry Forgiving Chris Brown?
The known abuser continues to prosper, despite his years-long, supposed “cancellation”
From bizarrely (and brazenly) congratulating ex Rihanna's Super Bowl performance to announcing a song collab, disgraced singer Chris Brown is trying to dig his way back into cultural consciousness. Despite his history of serial abuse, Brown continues to thrive in the music industry thanks to his peers ready to look the other way.
Singer Chloe Bailey announced her new single with Brown on Instagram, sharing a photo of them in an intimate embrace. "How Does It Feel" is slated to release on February 24th, with Bailey's fans not-so-happy with her collaborator. Partnering with a serial domestic abuser sends a clear message to fans that Brown's repeated violence will be swept under the rug, all in favor of song streams. The first half of the Chloe x Halle duo got subsequent push-back, with angry fans taking to social media to express their disappointment.
On February 8th, 2009, pop star Rihanna was hospitalized from multiple, visual facial wounds after an argument with her then-boyfriend Brown. The harrowing fight was fully detailed in a transcript and included Brown threatening her life. Artist Frank Ocean also had violent run-ins with Brown, with Ocean claiming Brown had punched him.
The music industry is repeatedly keen to forgive and forget. Known abusers rarely face career-ending consequences, no matter how many allegations levied against them. Brown's 2019 song "Under the Influence" was trending on TikTok earlier this year, and likely gained the singer a pretty penny in royalties, even in post "#Me-Too" era. The "Run It!" singer is currently performing a quick stint at the London O2 Arena, proving many are willing to put money in his pocket.
While many celebrities outcry at the damaging effects of cancel culture, Chris Brown's persistent success may call that criticism into question. Musicians and listeners alike seem ready to "separate the art from the artist", continuing a culture that allows people like Brown to thrive.