Home > Reality Check > Chris not Charlie Is Getting A Bad Rap?

Chris not Charlie Is Getting A Bad Rap?

“I’m so over people bringing this past shit up!!! Yet we praise Charlie Sheen and other celebs for their bullshit.” That’s what Chris tweeted and then later deleted. He was referring to his interview this week with Robin Roberts on ABC’s Good Morning America. (Here is a link to the interview which Disney won’t allow to be posted on YouTube). Chris went on GMA to promote his new album F.A.M.E. (how apropos).

The segment opens with his 2009 felony charge for assault on then girlfriend Rihanna. Roberts asks him about a judge’s recent decision to lax an earlier restraining order (the exes can have contact provided Chris doesn’t harass Rihanna). Roberts wants to know if the two have seen each other. Chris replies “No. It’s not really a big deal for me now, as far as that situation. I think I’m past that in my life. Today’s the album day, so that’s what I’m focused on.”

Roberts wouldn’t drop it; she kept broaching the topic of assault (Chris’ camp had agreed to the line of questioning beforehand). When he tries explaining the theme of F.A.M.E. (Forgiving All My Enemies), naysayers, and haters, Roberts wants to keep pointing out why people may hate on him even though he has lots of fans.

He went on to perform his single “Yeah 3x.” Then Bam! Roberts prodding allegedly made the 21-year-old singer so angry that he ripped off his shirt, trashed his dressing room, threw a chair that broke a window and stormed out. GMA reps said Chris was so dangerous backstage they had to call 911. One GMA rep referred to him as a “thug.”

Chris is shceduled to perform on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars next week. Some people wondered if ABC would reconsider having Chris on such a family show, would they ban him from the network, and walk away from an obviously troubled young man (allegedly DWTS contestants are afraid to be around him). ABC is not pressing any charges against Chris and is reportedly asking him back on GMA.

Okay, I am more surprised hearing CBS is considering bringing Charlie back on Two and A Half Men, which is a family show. Charlie trashes a hotel room, has a briefcase full of cocaine delivered to his home, and bad mouths his costars and show’s producers. But everyone is willing to let bygones be bygones all in the name of money. CBS mistakenly assumed people would be offended by Charlie’s erratic behavior and yet everyone seems to be championing him. He has been approached with deals from other networks such as Fox reportedly. His live concert tour (My Violent Torpedo of Truth) sold out in minutes; so, he stands to make a couple million dollars more off of his antics. He made $1.25 million per episode on his television show. Charlie’s bad boy behavior seems to be making him more rich and famous—believe it or not.

So, does Chris Brown have a point about the media’s treatment of Charlie Sheen? Charlie reportedly has a rap sheet full of assaults against women that it is a mile long. In 1990, he accidentally shot his then fiancée, actress Kelly Preston, in the arm. In 1996, he was arrested for assaulting an adult film actress. In 2005, actress Denise Richards filed for divorce, accusing him of alcohol/drug abuse and threats of violence. In 2009, he pleaded guilty to assault charges on soon to be ex-wife Brooke Mueller. Although Charlie insists he has never hit a woman, court orders and guilty pleas state otherwise.

But no one has really pushed Charlie on this issue. During a recent interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, he glossed over it. Despite Morgan’s pit-bull like nature, he didn’t sink his teeth into Charlie; he let the bad boy slide.

Some pundits have pointed to the fact that Charlie’s battery is against non A-list celebs or adult film actresses. If Charlie were arrested for bruising say someone like Jennifer Aniston,  he wouldn’t get away with his shenanigans.

Some people have posted that Charlie is getting a free pass because he is white and Chris is black. But truth be told, Charlie is of Hispanic origin (his grandfather was from Spain). His real name is Carlos Estevez (he was sure to make mention of this when he was accused of being anti-Semitic for remarks made against the creators of Two and A Half Men).  He shares the same stage surname with his father, Martin Sheen. According to one report, when he was arrested for domestic violence charges in 2009 he was booked under his real name Carlos Estevez. Maybe that’s why the media hasn’t been too hard on Charlie Sheen. It’s Carlos not Charlie who beats on women.

There is this Chris and Charlie double-standard. But it can be said of all batterers regardless of fame: You can get a free pass if you have money and power. You can get away with abusing women and men whom no one cares about.

There’s the fact that several well known rappers, hip-hop artists and athletes have been charged with domestic violence. They have never had to do community service, attend classes, or spend a night in jail. The one thing they all had in common with Charlie is that the women they abused were no-names—at least in the eyes of the media

If you were to deduce anything from all of this, it’s we’re a society that no longer can reason between compassion, complacency and condemnation.

Chris has completed 52-week anti-domestic violence classes and 1400 hours of community service. But he obviously still has some work to do and some anger issues to address.

Most batterers don’t receive counseling until they are threatened with imprisonment or actually do jail time. There are support groups and resources out there for men by men including Men Stopping Violence Against Women, A Call To Men, and Stop Violence.

I hope Chris can get the help he needs to control his rage and pain. I rather celebrate people’s triumphs than relish over their tribulations.

Chris went about business as usual after his outburst at ABC. He greeted hundreds of female fans outside his hotel and performed at his album release party that night. He has three hits songs and the album is number one on iTunes.

Maybe GMA will  be viewed as a stunt come next week. Chris will take a page for Charlie’s book. He will learn to come up with catch phrases when answering tough interview questions (“Duh, Winning”). He will begin talks with TV producers about a reality show. He may even in Charlie like style show up on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, kiss him on the lips, and as the audience cheers pass out copies of F.A.M.E. ~Carolyn M. Brown

Categories: Reality Check
  1. March 28, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    This video includes news coverage and analysis from multiple sources to discuss Chris Brown’s GMA appearance, backstage fit, and the media’s responses. Some are saying that Brown has clearly learned nothing from his violent encounter with Rihanna two years ago, and others are defending Brown as a 21-year-old successful celebrity who simply hasn’t learned how to deal with his anger.


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