Tag Archives: Chris Brown

Racialicious Roundtable: Law & Order: SVU, “Funny Valentine,” Or “The One About Chris Brown And Rihanna”

By Tami Winfrey Harris, Arturo R. García, and Joseph Lamour


L&O screencap1

Tami: I am a dedicated fan girl of the Law & Order Mothership. And I kind of liked Vincent D’Onofrio’s Sherlocky Det. Goren on Criminal Intent (though he does have an element of the white guy super detective about him). But Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has always seemed particularly sordid and crass. This heavy-handed, “ripped from the headlines” exploitation fest is a great example of exactly why I just can’t with this series.

Joe: I usually like Law and Order: SVU (because I secretly want to be Mariska Hargitay’s best friend forever), but sometimes there’s a misstep. When they rip things from the headlines, usually, it’s not this close to what actually happened. This episode felt more like a dramatic reenactment on the Investigation Channel than a show that has won six Emmy Awards.

Tami: “Caleb Bryant?” That’s the name they’re going with?

Arturo:
Yeah, that was elegant. All of the “twists,” though, were really shortcuts: Micha wasn’t presented as being a star at Caleb’s level; she was just starting out; and her producer gets shot and there’s nothing the cops can work with.

Joe: At least they didn’t go with Chuck Green or something vaguely like that. Mischa Green. Let’s all say it together: “Boo.” I would have suggested Hannigan. (Get it?)

Tami: Does Dave Navarro have a crushing tax debt? Has the Jane’s Addiction and Chili Peppers cash run out? Why does he have a bit role in this horror show?

Joe: Maybe he was a victim of the Madoff scandal like Kyra Sedgewick and Kevin Bacon. I do love his show Ink Master, though! I also love that I still find that hair sexy. He can do no wrong for me. I can only guess he joined this episode as an open protest to what’s happening in the music industry. Although there’s no interview that clears that up. Sigh.

Tami: Can someone define “beef cookie” for me? Is that an insult that hasn’t made it to the Midwest yet?

Joe:
It hasn’t made it anywhere. LOL. It’s not on Urban Dictionary (’cause I’m sure Faux Fenty wasn’t calling Faux Karreuche “a small gathering of boys”), and I thought I found it in an ASAP Rocky song, but the person who put it in misheard “When the beef cooked”… so, in short, I have nothing but a guess: I think it means a woman who hits on a man even though she knows he has a girl already… so it’s like she wants to have a fight (beef=fight, girl=cookie). I think. That is nothing but a complete guess, however.

Chris Brown Caleb Bryant just uttered “Call my Jew,” and we are six minutes in.

Tami: The Law & Order franchise is notoriously bad at portraying the “urban music” community. It’s as if they cannot separate the rhetoric of genres like hip-hop from, you know, real, multi-dimensional people. [Remember when L&O, original recipe, did a “ripped from the headlines” epi about JLo and Puffy and that nightclub shooting? Puff Daddy was renamed G-Train and the episode was called...wait for it... “3 Dawg Night.” Yeah.]

It’s very meta when Bryant’s lawyer complains about the demonizing of young, black men in hip-hop within a franchise that is just as capable at that. “Call my Jew?”

The real “Caleb Bryant” is somehow talented and charming enough to make people forget that he is also a babyish, swaggering, violent fool. SVU’s Caleb Bryant is just a stereotype.

L&O screencap4Arturo: I think they tried to lampshade that with the Wendy Williams and Perez Hilton cameos. It’s not just that an abuser in this position has any sort of “charm,” but there’s a mechanism in place designed to protect those brands, as Mischa’s manager indicated.

Joe: Is it just me or is this actor playing Caleb Bryant wearing a lot of makeup?

Tami: He is. He looks like Nipsy Russell as the Tin Man in The Wiz. Is it just me or is the acting in this episode a pox on humanity?

Joe: That’s not just you.

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Chris Brown, Male Violence, And Racist Rants

by Guest Contributor Costa Avgoustinos (Pop Culture and the Third World)

There are two interesting links floating around in regard to Chris Brown’s Grammy win and return to the spotlight/ people’s hearts. One is a great article by Sasha Pesulka entitled I’m Not OK With Chris Brown Performing At The Grammys And I Don’t Know Why You Are Either. The other is 25 Extremely Upsetting Reactions To Chris Brown At The Grammys, a series of screenshots of tweets from women professing  that because Chris Brown is attractive, they would be happy for him to beat them.

It’s interesting to compare society’s reaction to celebrity attacks on women to celebrity attacks on racial minorities. As Pesulka maps out in her article above, when Chris Brown assaulted girlfriend Rihanna society’s reaction was mixed–a lot of people came to Brown’s defence, a lot of people demonised Rihanna, a lot of people thought it was a private matter so blame shouldn’t be placed publicly and, after all that, a lot of people welcomed Brown’s return to the spotlight. In contrast, when Michael Richards went on a racist rant using the N-word, or Mel Gibson went on a racist rant (or, I guess, several rants) against Jews, society’s reaction was a lot more uniform: ‘You’re a jerk, we’re putting your career in the toilet, and that’s where it will stay forever.’  Why is Chris Brown allowed a come back, but Michael Richards and Mel Gibson are not?

I don’t make the comparison to try and rank racism against sexism or to argue gender-based violence is in some way more or less acceptable that race-based violence. That would be useless and stupid. Nor do I think the issue is one of ‘Sticks and Stones’ versus ‘Names That Hurt Me’–that is, that Richards and Gibson deserve less grief simply because, unlike Brown, they themselves didn’t cause physical harm. Again, stupid. But I think something can be learned from comparing our reactions.

Several commentators have pointed out a divide between how White mainstream media and Black media have approached the Chris Brown incident. White, mainstream media, from Jezebel to Good Morning America, has been pretty much anti-Brown since all of this happened. Black media, from NewsOne to Bossip, has been more reserved and seems more willing to forgive and move on. I would wager that this is in part due to Black media being uncomfortable participating in the perpetuation of the ‘violent Black man’ cliché, and the witchhunt that often ensues by the mainstream media with a bit too much eagerness. Or perhaps, as Dr Oliver Williams, executive director of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community, has stated, perhaps it is because ‘communities find it easier to focus on oppression that comes from outside than on what (they) do to (them)selves.’ Continue reading

Can we hold fellow black women to blame for sabotaging our image on TV?

By Guest Contributor Tami Winfrey Harris, cross-posted from What Tami Said

On Sunday, I was happy to catch up with blogger New Black Woman. (Definitely visit her blog and be sure to check into her recommended reading list.) I’ve been wanting to talk about her recent post, “”Why do black women continue to sabotage our image?“–a lamentation on the poor portrayals for black women, particularly on reality TV.

Black women are well aware there is indeed a lack of diversity in the array of characters we’re allowed (yes, allowed because these characters are concoctions of a producer or writer’s mind) to portray. The majority of black women on television are making waves in reality TV shows, which are typically edited in a way to play up to the expectations of viewers to see more drama, more cat fights and more angry black women. We do not have the luxury of having 10 different shows that feature 10 different characters of black women. We don’t have the diversity in characters to show mainstream America that we, too, are just as diverse as the white women they encounter on a daily basis.

As black women, however, why do we keep doing ourselves this disservice? Why do we continue to support the madness by proudly embracing the angry black woman stereotype on reality TV, by watching these shows and relishing in the drama black female characters convey to viewers?

This link to the clip from Sunday’s Celebrity Apprentice episode in which the never-ending drama between NeNe Leakes and Star Jones is a prime example of how black women are portrayed–and how they portray themselves–in reality television. In the clip, Leakes of Real Housewives of Atlanta fame bolsters her “street game” by rolling her neck and talking smack in Jones’ face. The white onlookers, including birther,racist fraud Donald Trump and nonsensical rapper Lil’ John, look on amused as if they were expecting the drama to happen. Read More

I share New Black Woman’s disdain for the way black women are framed in the media, including reality television. But I wondered if it was fair to hold other black women accountable for those portrayals. What follows is our discussion.

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Selling The Danger: Will You Like Chris Brown When He’s Angry?

By Arturo R. García

And I am
Whatever you say I am
If I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?
In the papers, the news, everyday I am

- Eminem, “The Way I Am”

My first thought while watching Chris Brown’s debacle of a Good Morning America interview: WTF is up with his hair?

My second thought: This is horrible. Didn’t his media people give him a better gameplan than this?

My third: … What if this is the gameplan?
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Open Thread: Chris Brown’s Tribute To Michael Jackson

By Site Lead Arturo R. García

That performance, of course, dominated the discussion regarding this year’s BET Music Awards, as an unannounced Chris Brown – his introduction by Jermaine Jackson was simply, “Here he is!” – performed a tribute to Michael Jackson. Personally, I was underwhelmed – not so much by Brown tearing up during “Man In The Mirror,” but by the silence that preceded it. As accurate as Brown’s dancing and costuming were, the absence of his voice diminished the moment’s impact. I’m not questioning Brown’s intentions, but put simply, I wasn’t moved.

But, we at The R would like to get your opinions on the performance, and on where Brown and his career could or should go from here. And collected under the cut are various reactions from around the Web.

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Chris Brown, Charlie Sheen, Race and Domestic Violence

By Special Correspondent Nadra Kareem, originally posted at Bitch Magazine
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Which celebrity has earned more bad press for reported acts of domestic violence—Chris Brown or Charlie Sheen?

When gossip Web site TMZ.com criticized Brown Jan. 21 for appearing with designer Jean Paul Gaultier, in makeup that made him look bruised and bloodied for a “warrior-themed runway show,” visitors to the site accused TMZ of vilifying Brown while giving Sheen a pass for allegedly battering his wife on Christmas.

Take a commenter who wrote: “Charlie Sheen beat his wife’s ass and tried to kill her only one month ago!! The only thing you guys seem to want to cover is him visiting the wife he beat in the hospital, but Chris Brown one year later is still being criticized. That is simply racism to the fullest extent. …So my question is, where is all the bad press for Charlie Sheen…?”

Another wrote: “TMZ STOP IT!! Love Gaultier and love Chris Brown!! Leave this kid alone. You sure did a nice write up on Charlie Sheen earlier. You people love to rip black people apart, while you allow white people to redeem themselves. It’s sad…”

And still another remarked: “Give it a rest people…Funny how you constantly slam Chris Brown, but praise Charlie Sheen and attempt to garner sympathy for him. So biased it is ridiculous.”

If you’re wondering why I’m highlighting comments left on a gossip Web site, it’s because TMZ.com played a significant role in influencing public opinion about Chris Brown’s battery of Rihanna. TMZ was the first media outlet to release the photo that the Los Angeles Police Department took of Rihanna following Brown’s beating of her. Moreover, by breaking big news stories (however unscrupulously) such as Michael Jackson’s death or the medications found in Brittany Murphy’s home after her demise—TMZ has come to be seen as a reliable source of information on celebrity news. That said, I think it’s fitting to weigh in on the site’s coverage of Brown and Sheen.

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Chris Brown Apologizes for “The Incident”

by Latoya Peterson

E! news has the video
, where Brown directly addresses the camera.

In the video, he mentions he has apologized to Rihanna “countless” times and wishes he could relive the events of the evening. He notes that he is still not permitted to go into what happened, but feels it is more important not to make any excuses. He then said he takes “great pride” in being able to exercise self-control and what he did was inexcusable.

A partial transcript is available on the E! website.

Thoughts?