When Chris Brown was charged with beating then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, I was one of many who wanted to believe that the altercation was not as brutal as the initial reports seemed. The picture of her bruised and swollen face shut that down immediately. I sincerely hoped then that his ‘people’ would snatch him out the public eye and put him through some heavy duty therapy before even thinking about trying to have him out on stage or promoting a record- not so much out of concern for his career, but in hopes that he would face his demons in order to protect his own life and that of any woman who may find herself in his company. Alas, what we’ve seen instead has been an endless parade of bad press, bratty behavior and misguided attempts at reclaiming his spot at the top.

This week’s tantrum backstage at Good Morning America is only par for the course that Brown has been on since that Grammy night two years ago. From the outside looking in, I think it’s deeper than the singer simply being a jackass. This is someone who seems to have some serious emotional troubles that court mandated domestic violence counseling cannot solve. Unfortunately, because Brown is a commodity in the eyes of his record label (and perhaps even his mother-manager), there hasn’t been so much focus on getting his mental health in order. Like R. Kelly before him, so long as it seems that there’s a market for his music he will continue to work.

What’s odd to me is there are number of people asking, “Where’s his publicist?” Public relations people are not therapists or life coaches. The only think a PR person could really do for Brown would be to keep him out of the public eye all together, because when you have someone who is as seemingly troubled as he is, no talking points or interview tips are going to change that. Media training for Chris Brown would be akin to putting a candy paint job on a car with a dying engine; it may look good, but it won’t be long before the whole thing falls apart.

Some folks may want to give him points since he hasn’t, to our knowledge, had any further physical issues with women. Others may say “Who cares? He’s not my son/brother/friend!” But at the end of the day, we have a lot of Chris Browns around us: men (and women) who are damaged and destructive. Hurt people hurt people, as they say. While those who are formally charged with crimes may be punished with either jail time or mandatory counseling, few will get the sort of long term therapy they actually need.

Brown is a violent young man running around the country with a bunch of money, a lot of attitude and a parole officer. This won’t end well. If the GMA incident damages his public image to the point where his label is finally ready to give up, then perhaps he’ll finally have the chance to get the sort of help he needs. I wouldn’t hold my breath, though. So long as the kid can dance and halfway carry a tune, his health and safety (as well as that of those around him) won’t be a priority.

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  • edrina

    Agree w/comments stating Chris Brown needs professional help. Please note that a minority will have different challenges and limited opportunities to fly right before being completely destroyed by the media.

    Great example: Tiger Woods crucified loses endorsements. Lebron villified by the press. Charlie Sheen lives on to a better day, popularity and even more money.

    Chris better wise up before it’s too late if it isn’t already.

  • Leontyne

    He needs a new publicist IMMEDIATELY. He isn’t a new artist who has to take what he can get. His PR team should have asked for more creative control, asked to see a list of questions for their pre-approval, and let them know that at anytime they feel the interview is going to far, they’d stop it live. The publicist should have also instructed the band, if the interview is stopped, to immediately start playing and move on with the performance.

    Chris Brown isn’t a great speaker (remember his Larry King interview) so all of his interviews need to be light and fun. No dis, you just have to know your client’s strengths and weaknesses and develop campaigns that work best for them. Instead of this type of interview, his team could have developed a :30-:60 min program that ran on all Viacom Networks (BET, MTV, VH-1) that showed him preparing for the album. It could touch on the incident, his road to redemption highlighting his community service, etc and nervousness right before the release (the last part would just make him more relatable…lol). Couple that with a few interviews w/ Sway and a bunch of controlled radio segments w/ lighter interviewers and bam…he’s own his way. He did a great job on the Big Boy show about a week ago when they talked about the “leaked” pics; he can handle that, he can’t handle hard-nose journalism.

  • It’s not unusual or unheard of for a celebrity to be hounded by issues that occurred years ago. Will they ever stop asking Jennifer Aniston about Brad and Angelina? Nope. It sells. That happened what, five, six years ago? I just read an interview with Bridget Moynahan and they’re still asking her about Giselle and Tom Brady. And these women didn’t even do anything wrong. Robert Downey Jr. got mocked at the Oscars this year and he’s an Oscar-winning actor with TWO major money-making franchises. He’s been clean for nearly a decade now. Hell, folk are still talking about Elizabeth Taylor breaking up Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds and that was FIFTY years ago. These are all A-list money-making celebrities. Chris Brown was at best a B-list R&B singer who probably hasn’t made a million dollars in his entire career.

    Bottom line is, when you’re a celebrity and do something stupid, folk are going to bring it up over and over again. Either get an education and change careers, or suck it up and deal with the consequences of YOUR BEHAVIOR.

  • so this is my comment on the last cb/gma thread:

    ‘hes officially a rageful moron with a DEATH WISH for his career. he has had fans on his side throughout this entire business who were rooting for him to reclaim his career and put his talent to good use (like myself… since i wasnt there for the incident with rihanna i tried not to cast judgement)… he has had repeated opportunities to put ‘the incident’ in the past and move forward… so for him to pull a stunt like this after a string of successful singles and just getting his career back on track isnt just idiotic, its freaking suicidal. he should go back home to his mama and get some help for those anger issues… SMH’

    but i actually heard the transcripts of the interview this morning, and i have to say… it seemed like he gave Robin Roberts plenty of opportunities to move on, and she kept bringing ‘the incident’ up. he gave her cool, calm, and collected answers at least three times and it almost seemed like she was goading him into losing his cool. while that STILL doesnt make his reaction okay, and i STILL think he needs to get help for his anger issues, i also agree with other commenters that his PR team could have handled the entire interview process a little better, as well as give him more training on how to properly handle those kinds of situations. he doesnt seem to have a handle on the fact that hes CHRIS BROWN, not some regular 21-year-old kid who can do whatever he wants. and if he wants a successful career, thats a problem

    http://sartorialme.blogspot.com

  • Publicity Stunt.