Hip-hop singer Chris Brown made headlines last week when he trashed the dressing room of ABC’s Good Morning America.
Brown was irate when interviewer Robin Roberts asked the 21 year old about his 2009 assault of former girlfriend Rihanna. The questions were pre-approved by Brown’s camp and were relevant as the restraining order preventing Brown from coming 25 feet of Rihanna had been lifted. Brown broke a window and ripped off his own shirt before fleeing the building.
ABC responded by apologizing to Brown, welcoming him BACK to GMA and allowing him to perform on the family friendly hit “Dancing With the Stars” this coming Tuesday.
This is not the first ABC controversy involving Brown. In November 2009, ABC banned singer Adam Lambert from GMA after a racy performance during the finale of the American Music Awards, citing concern for “family values” & replaced him with Brown. After viewer backlash, Brown’s performance was scrapped but Lambert’s ban remains.
This bothers me for several reasons, ABC’s blatant homophobia is just one of them. I’m not going to get into Brown’s previous actions, as he has served his time. My problem is that Brown shattered a window that faces into Times Square and could have injured many people or worse, killed someone and he was rewarded with a second trip on the show and a cushy prime time TV spot to promote his work. Meanwhile, Lambert is banned from a network because he kissed another man on TV. Claiming the racy content of his performance doesn’t fly with me, as his performance aired at 10:30 PM, not exactly a “Family Friendly” timeslot. Earlier in the broadcast, Rihanna performed a medley of songs from her Rated R album in a revealing outfit that appeared to be made of white duct tape.
Lady Gaga also performed at that show in a flesh coloured bodysuit wearing a predator mask.
Melissa Leo dropped the F bomb during the opening hour of the Academy Awards (airing on ABC) but was allowed to appear on the View post-Oscars. Swearing isn’t terribly family friendly. Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton has a video clip of Britney Spears’s taped GMA performance, in which she is donning a PVC bustier and hotpants combo gyrating with male dancers. This is allegedly to air on GMA this coming week. PVC catsuits and hair flips aren’t really 10am fare.
If ABC is going to issue bans to performers, they need to be consistent. I’m all for family friendly programming but in my opinion, a man who beat his girlfriend to a pulp several times (Rihanna has stated there were over seven physical altercations between them) and then endangered the safety of fans by smashing a window, sending glass to the street isn’t family friendly. Flesh toned jumpsuits to give the impression of nudity isn’t family friendly and neither is the F word. ABC can’t reward the risqué and the violent while maintaining that a boy on boy kiss is too much for families. Considering that ABC allows boy on boy love scenes on their soap “One Life to Live”, how bad could Lambert have been?
How about ABC does the right thing and bans Brown and replaces him with Lambert, who is currently promoting the remixed single Aftermath, where the proceeds go to the Trevor Project. Give the DWTS spot to a worthy performer who wants to do some good, not an angry thug looking to extend his F.A.M.E.