We’ve used this space, from time to time, to remind you that, though some people may argue that what Chris Brown did to Rihanna in 2009 was between them, the effects of it are felt by millions of young men and women. Rihanna may feel like she can personally forgive her ex for beating her, but the fact that he’s consistently shown very little remorse over what he did sends a terrible message to victims and perpetrators of abuse. That’s why we want to hug the ladies at Crushable for their response to Rihanna’s statements about it on this week’s Oprah’s Next Chapter.
“I felt protective,” Rihanna said of her feelings for Chris Brown in the aftermath of the assault. “I felt like, the only person they hate right now is him. It was a weird, confusing space to be in, because as angry as I was, as angry and hurt and betrayed, I just felt like he made that mistake because he needed help. And who’s going to help him? Nobody’s going to say he needs help, everybody’s going to say he’s a monster, without looking at the source. And I was more concerned about him.”
Well, as Crushable’s Jenni Maier pointed out, he had plenty of opportunities to get help, but instead, he seemed to lash out. “Making an album called Forgiving All My Enemies doesn’t show any sorrow over what happened,” Maier wrote. “It shows a man who’s angry at the world for punishing him for committing a crime. Throwing a chair through a window because someone asked you about what happened doesn’t show someone who’s learned anything from his ‘mistake.’ It shows a performer who thinks he’s above the law and above common human decency.”
Earlier today, someone from Chris Brown’s camp reportedly spoke to HollywoodLife.com about Chris’ reaction to the clip. “Watching [Rihanna's interview with Oprah] made him realize he made a big mistake and he’s been paying for it ever since,” the source said. “He’s working hard, in the studio, dancing, doing everything he can to rebuild his name and career and I think he been successful in doing all that. Y’all should be talking about his road to recovery and how he’s been a man and made s–t right. He and Ri are cool, more cool than anyone will know. She forgave the [boy] the minute that s–t went down, so what that say about their relationship?”
Sorry, but we all know people who have forgiven the abusers “the minute that s–t went down.” It’s the cycle of abuse, and it never ends well. And working hard in the studio and rebuilding your name and career — while generally good things to do — are not really how you end that cycle.
We hope that Oprah takes a minute to address this in the full interview, which airs on Sunday night.