Last Sunday I didn’t know the Grammys were going to be on until I was flipping through the channels* and came across U2 opening the show. Bono is an immediate channel surfing stopper. I left the show running once the performance was over because they announced Coldplay would be performing later on. U2 and Coldplay?!? I was glued to my seat.
But Coldplay was the tease, not to play until later that night, so at one point I pulled out my laptop and got to work and turned the volume down a bit. I don’t remember what caught my attention initially but I heard Ryan Seacrest talking vaguely about some scandal with Rihanna and Chris Brown and I turned the volume back up.
Now, I am not sure I would even know a Chris Brown song if I heard one (don’t listen to the radio ever) and though I loved Miss Rihanna’s ella ella ella eh eh song, I am not really familiar with her. They are dating? Oh, news to me.
Ryan was obviously not saying something…. he spoke carefully as though not to give anything away. Something had happened. I hopped back on my laptop and connected to Fox New’s Entertainment feed and sure enough there across the top of the page there was a link about Chris Brown and Rihanna. What I read made me sick.
There were lots of different reports- some confirmed, some unconfirmed- but the basis of the story seemed to be unalterable. Chris Brown had allegedly beat Rihanna up in a car and then ran when a bystander called 911. He later turned himself into the police and posted bail. Rihanna remained in an LA hospital with ‘multiple contusions, cuts, and bite marks’. He reportedly grabbed her by the throat, choked her unconscious and was heard threatening to kill her.
I have been drawn to the story, following the news feeds on the matter. Fans are sending well wishes, some friends are stunned, some friends are telling the media it wasn’t the first time he has smacked her around, talking heads are weighing in on the matter, and celebrities are coming out of the woodwork in support of Rihanna. Well, mostly.
The first time I ever saw Terrence Howard in a movie, it was Crash. Not a movie for children, but an amazing flick. I watched the cast on Oprah when the movie came out and was impressed with him. He shared about being biracial and the pressures his family faced when he was growing up.
I don’t think I am going to be able to watch him in any more movies.
You see, I have this thing about artists and musicians and actors… if I learn something bad about them, its hard for me to go on liking their music/films. After I read an interview with John Mayer in Rolling Stone while sitting at a dentist appointment, it was ages before I could listen to his music again. And the boy is talented. I still think about his womanizing when his music comes on and I have to make myself not think about it or it ruins the experience for me. I know I could never see him in concert. Listening to a song in the car? It takes effort, but I can do it.
Its not that I am judgmental or into boycotting people, its just that certain types of ugliness clouds (for me) the beauty of what they create.
I am not sure I will ever be able to watch Terrence Howard on the big screen again with thinking about this completely asinine comment:
Excuse me, Mr. Howard?
“That’s just life” -beating your girlfriend so badly she has to go to the hospital is “just life”?
“Chris is a great guy? He’ll be alright”– well, we weren’t really all that concerned about him. But “great guy”? Wow…really? In my book “great guys” don’t abuse women.
“Rihanna knows he loves her, you know?” Well, actually we don’t. We don’t really get how she’s supposed to know he loves her when he beat her up and then left her there to save his own butt.
“They’ll be alright”– Sir, with all due respect, do you know how many women are injured every year at the hands of their so-called lovers? A staggering 1/4 of American women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime…an estimated 1.3 million women are assaulted by their husbands or boyfriends every single year. So, if you mean, ‘they’ll be alright’ as in ‘their relationship will be alright’ then I hope you are wrong. In any way we know you can’t seriously be that flippant about the plight of women in general or Rihanna in specific, with regard to domestic violence.
“Everybody gotta get outta their way”– Sure, let’s just leave them be and stay out of it so that he can keep on beating on her. I mean, seriously? Thank God for that 911 caller. Too many women do not report abuse and maybe she wouldn’t have if someone hadn’t done it for her.
Reports have come out that Brown grew up watching his mom be abused. As sad and typical as that is (by typical, I mean its more likely for a child who witnessed violence to perpetrate it) he must still be held accountable for his actions.
Probably everyone of us reading this blog, either has experienced domestic violence or known someone who has. Its a taboo subject for women to talk about because part of the abuse is intimidation and fear and then the perpetrator making the victim feel either responsible or like they are blowing it out of proportion or both. As a woman in this culture, this is a topic that is close to my heart.
If you or someone you love is an abusive relationship, do not be silent. Make a phone call…tell someone. If you need help, click here. Also, please feel free to contact me…if there’s anything I can do to help you, I will. (You can contact me by visiting the ‘contact’ tab at the top of the blog and sending me a message)
~~ in all fairness, Terrence Howard made this retraction a day later. As a woman, I thank him for doing so:
“When they asked me about Chris Brown the other day, I was in no way aware of what he had been accused of,” Howard said in a statement. “Had I known, I would have never had said something so insensitive.”
* yes, the Tv is back. Cohen broke the DVD player in one of my computers and I couldn’t use my work computer to play them and we were in serious need of ELMO here