A year after being found guilty of felonious assault of his pop star ex-girlfriend Rihanna, singer Chris Brown may be on the path to redemption. Brown, 21, whose career has been tarnished by his violent outburst, broke down in tears during a musical tribute to Michael Jackson at Sunday's BET Awards in Los Angeles. (Watch video below.) Following the emotional performance, Brown was awarded BET's "Fandemonium" prize, determined by fan votes, and told the audience: "I let you all down before, but I won’t do it again. I promise you." Does Brown merit a second chance?
This could be a turning point: It all comes down to whether or not "people think [he's] real," veteran publicist Howard Bragman tells MTV. If the audience "bought" his performance as "authentic, then it might give him some sympathy." Granted, we "live in a cynical world," so there will surely be people who "roll their eyes because they feel like it's a PR stunt."
"Will Chris Brown's BET performance revive his career? PR experts weigh in"
Too little, too late, too calculated: Chris Brown's performance "wasn’t an homage to the King of Pop," says Lauren Beckham Falcone in the Boston Herald. "It was a calculated career move by a crybaby — and an insult to victims of domestic violence." Don't forget, Brown savagely beat Rihanna multiple times. He "also bit her, put her in a headlock causing her to lose consciousness." Brown's "meek mea culpa and crocodile tears weren’t about making a change." They were about "making a comeback" that he "doesn't deserve."
"Chris Brown should take his phone tears and beat it"
Time for a true, mature transformation: "However sincerely remorseful he is, [Brown] can't go back," says Ann Powers in the Los Angeles Times. His actions have forever "shattered his image" as a "teen dream," even if the BET audience appeared eager to wash him clean "with the baptismal water." So if Brown truly wants redemption, he needs to "become a fully adult artist now," and "make art from the soul-searching he's done" since his fateful confrontation.
"Chris Brown's BET breakdown: the 'coulds' and 'shoulds' of forgiveness"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How Ronald Reagan turned America into a nation of children
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- 10 things you need to know today: August 1, 2014
- 8 secrets to steal from power networkers
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- How to make classic pulled pork
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
Subscribe to the Week