Thursday, May 16, 2024


February 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Entertainment, News, Weekly Columns

( After a weeklong silence, Chris Brown has finally spoken about the pre-Grammy incident in which he allegedly beat his girlfriend, Rihanna, with his fists until she was bruised and bloodied.

But in the self-centered apology he issued on Sunday, Chris seems more interested in repairing his image than with accepting personal responsibility or expressing compassion to the woman he’s accused of brutalizing.

Chris’ statement (no doubt written by publicists in consultation with attorneys) begins:

Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired.”

That sounds nice at first, but note Chris’ choice of words. He’s sorry for “what transpired” not for what he “did.” A passive verb like transpire downplays the viciousness of the alleged act and implies that Chris was caught up in circumstances beyond his control. But the truth is that Chris Brown caused the violence that left Rihanna injured.

Chris’ statement continues: “I am seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones and I am committed, with God’s help, to emerging a better person.”

That self-serving line is right out of the Celebrity Screw-Up’s Damage Control Action Plan. Running to the pastor is a common move for famous people accused of outrageous criminal behavior. Alleged child molester R. Kelly did it. So did crack-smoking DC mayor, Marion Berry. Conservative preacher Ted Haggard went into “prayer and counseling” mode after he was busted buying sex and drugs from male prostitutes. Jailed rapper DMX went a step further by announcing that he was actually going to become a minister! But how much of this is serious problem solving and how much of it is PR?

Talking to his mom and pastor will probably be good for Chris Brown, but if he’s serious about becoming “a better person” then he’s going to have to do a lot more than that. He needs counseling from a psychologist trained in anger management and relationship therapy. He also needs to take full responsibility for what he did.

Chris written apology goes on to say: “Much of what has been speculated or reported on blogs and/or reported in the media is wrong.”

That’s one of the first guidelines in the Action Plan: when you mess up, accuse the press of attacking you! Raising doubts about media coverage is one of the surest ways to score points in the Court of Public Opinion. Some of the reporting around the Chris Brown beating case has been questionable, but a lot of it has been correct. For instance, the police report descriptions of Rihanna’s terrible injuries cannot be dismissed or downplayed by blaming the press.

Needless to say, I’m not much impressed with Chris Brown’s apology. It is unfortunate, though not at all surprising, that he’s making this criminal case all about him rather than his victim. That’s in the Action Plan, too.

Now, to close on a somewhat lighter note…


According to the NAACP Image Awards, Sean “Diddy” Combs is a better actor than Charles S. Dutton, Andre Braugher and Ben Vereen. (Combs’ second-rate performance in “A Raisin in the Sun” bested work by those venerable giants, winning Diddy the outstanding TV movie actor honor.) The Image Awards voters also think Tyler Perry’s humor-challenged sitcom, “House of Payne” is better than brilliant shows like “Everybody Hates Chris,” “30 Rock” and “Ugly Betty.” The Image Awards will never have credibility as long as this sort of nonsense occurs.

Thanks for listening. I’m Cameron Turner and that’s my two cents.


Written By Cameron Turner

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