In February 2009, Chris Brown assaulted his then-girlfriend, the pop star Rihanna, and suffered a serious setback to his reputation. Brown offered a series of apologies deemed insincere by many, but in recent months, a few well-liked songs and some good publicity had catapulted Brown back into many people's good graces, and "out of purgatory," says Amos Barshad at New York. That is, until Tuesday. Frustrated by repeated questions on "Good Morning America" about the Rihanna incident, Brown reportedly became violently angry after the interview, smashing his dressing-room window with a chair, then exiting the building shirtless. Brown managed to avoid arrest over his rampage, but "Dancing With the Stars" might nix his scheduled appearance next week. Did Brown just ruin any goodwill he had saved up?
Sadly, he'll be fine: "Brown is already imprinted in the national imagination as a violent jerk," says Jessica Grose at Double X, and "embracing this narrative has served him well" until now. In fact, judging by Charlie Sheen's current popularity, it's plausible that Brown's volatility may actually help him sell more albums. Not that this is a healthy state of affairs — "What has to happen for Americans to take the casual violence of these stars seriously?"
"Chris Brown's GMA meltdown probably won't stop his comeback"
Brown will profit from this episode: "I think in the end, this incident will actually help his album sales," says R.J. Garis, a celebrity publicist, as quoted by Hollywood Life. "All the media and internet attention on this story today just provides more promotion for the fact that the album just dropped." Brown's violence will give him a "million times more free mentions" than a regular "Good Morning America" appearance would have. (As of Tuesday morning, Brown's album is #1 on iTunes.)
"Image experts: Chris Brown's rampage won't hurt his image"
The pop star did himself no favors here: Sure, Brown was successfully able to foster a bad-boy image, but that was in a "packaged, pop star kind of way — not in a 'holy crap people are scared to be around me' kind of way," says Barshad at New York. Brown's "Good Morning America" antics "may not kill his comeback," but they're "certainly not good for it," either.
"Chris Brown freaked out at 'Good Morning America'"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
- On ISIS, neocons and liberal hawks have a 'boy who cried wolf' problem
- How Harry Houdini escaped death
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The constant struggle of running a family farm in 21st century America
Subscribe to the Week