Chris Brown’s Controversial Daily Show Appearance Cancelled
Following the announcement yesterday that Chris Brown’s planned Australian and New Zealand tour was cancelled after officials denied the singer a Visa and told him he was “not of the character we expect in Australia,” Brown’s scheduled Daily Show appearance also didn’t go as planned.
The Daily Beast reported on Monday that Brown’s scheduled visit had understandably “caused some controversy” among staff at the Comedy Central show. In the six years since Brown was convicted of a felony assault against Rihanna, he’s cemented his image as a misogynist asshole by, among other things, breaking a window at Good Morning America studios after Robin Roberts questioned him about the attack on Rihanna; throwing a rock through his mother’s car window; and tweeting sexist insults about the mother of his child and an ex-girlfriend, respectively.
To make matters more complicated, The Daily Show’s host Trevor Noah, who faced accusations of sexism before the show even premiered for some horrible tweets of his own, has a history of making light of Chris Brown’s transgressions:
Today because of allergies, I woke up and my face was puffy and swollen- I looked like I was in the car with chris brown.
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) October 25, 2009
Chris Brown’s FAME album is no#1 on iTunes. Rihanna is cancelling shows due to poor sales. I guess he beat her again.
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) March 24, 2011
If Rihanna can forgive Chris Brown then we can also give Bafana another chance. Come on boys you can do it!
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) January 23, 2013
The Daily Beast wrote on Monday:
[…] while many staffers disapprove of the booking decision, host Trevor Noah allegedly hopes to use the interview to bring light to domestic abuse issues. Our sources confirmed that Noah brought up such a possibility during an all-hands meeting on Monday afternoon.
Noah has also been outspoken about his own experiences with domestic abuse. The comedian’s step-father abused Noah’s mother for years before shooting her, after which he hunted Noah in an attempt to harm him as well. Given his personal experience with the issue, an actual conversation between Noah and Brown about domestic abuse could have been interesting, to say the least. But The Daily Show‘s Instagram announced yesterday that Nick Cannon would be a guest instead, and Noah and The Daily Show have yet to comment publicly as to why Brown didn’t make an appearance.
As always, it’s important to consider the role racism plays in public disapproval of Brown. An Australian activist group that encouraged denial of Brown’s visa apologized in October for supporting “a racist narrative that sees men of color unfairly targeted, and stereotyped as more violent than their white counterparts,” and it’s hard to imagine that a Daily Show appearance by a white celebrity with a track record like his would be as controversial.
Granted, Brown has only compounded his terrible reputation over the last six years, but there’s no denying that white celebrities like Sean Penn, Sean Connery, Gary Busey, Christian Slater, Woody Allen, and Josh Brolin get a forgiveness pass that people of color do not. Look at Bill Murray and our collective, deliberate amnesia considering his terrible treatment of women. Look at Terry Richardson!
I’m not saying that Brown shouldn’t be locked out of the industry and punished for being the sexist he so clearly and unapologetically is. But when the careers of other human disasters like Connery and Richardson continue virtually unaffected by their reputations as abusers, and Brown can’t even make a talk show appearance without it being controversial, then something is wrong.
What say you, gang? Do you think a conversation between Noah and Brown would have been valuable?
—Please make note of The Mary Sue’s general comment policy.—