Ever since Chris Brown violently beat former girlfriend Rihanna back in 2008, his name has seemingly become synonymous with domestic violence. That was made especially clear during a segment of the Grammy Awards that featured a spoken word piece on domestic violence by Brooke Elise Axtell. The Washington Post reports that Axtell was a once a victim of child sex trafficking, and a survivor of long-term violence at the hands of a boyfriend, and her powerful message became one of the most talked about parts of the award show. In fact, the Washington Post is one of numerous media sources pointing out that Brown was in the audience during the spoken word segment.
The Trumbull Times is another of the numerous media sources bringing up Chris Brown in the context of Brooke Axtell’s spoken word segment at the Grammys. Access Hollywood was even lucky enough to get Axtell’s point-of-view surrounding the Grammys including domestic abusers like Brown. In particular, the poet was asked about her thoughts on speaking about domestic violence at a venue where people like Brown were given awards.
“On a level, it makes sense in that the Grammys are there to focus on what they believe is artistic merit, and they’re not making decisions based on what they believe to be the ethical standards of the individual artists, so that’s not the criteria for judgment, but at the same time, I can empathize with survivors who feel that there is a dissonance there.”
Hollywood Life reports that Chris Brown has reacted to Axtell’s segment of the Grammys. A source close to the R&B singer told the rag that his assault on Rihanna ways heavily on his mind still to this day, and he isn’t at all offended by constant reminders.
“Chris thinks the constant reminders are certainly a good thing because it helps to protect women and he hopes it will prevent men from acting out irrationally. Obviously, he knows violence of any kind is not the answer and respects the Grammys and thinks they did a nice job bringing awareness to domestic violence into the program. A big two thumbs up for them for making that happen.”
Even though he may be okay with constant reminders of his past violence, how does he feel about becoming synonymous with the concept itself? Sunday’s show wasn’t the first Grammy Award ceremony where Chris’s violent past was discussed. Celebrities have protested him being a part of the Grammys in the past, including Miranda Lambert and Jack Osbourne. In 2012, he won a Grammy and then took to Twitter to tell his celebrity haters what he thought of them in two simple words. You can probably guess what they were.
To be fair, Chris Brown isn’t the only celebrity caught up in scandals involving domestic violence. Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, and even Carmen Electra have all been charged with domestic violence related crimes. Brown is also not the only award-wining musician to be charged with this type of crime. Tommy Lee was charged with DV in both 1994 and 1998 and being the drummer for Motley Crüe, he’s the winner of at least one American Music Award and has been inducted on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — though never a Grammy. Ozzy Osbourne was arrested for DV in 1989, which is curious since his son used the hashtag #ChrisBrownBeatsWomen in 2012.