Chris Brown is the walking talking PR tsunami which seems to disrupt Hollywood on a weekly basis and each time engulf somebody new. A lot of his actions haven’t garnered the best response from morally conscious humans, however in my view; his case has been sealed with a giant tainted stamp resulting in nobody wanting to get too close. As a result a lot of what he does is shunned to the side and regarded as nothing more than the usual CB behaviour. However, when he landed himself in the tabloids last week as a result of a conflict between him and R&B singer Frank Ocean, the story seemed to get murkier as the days went on, all the while continuing the muddy Browns’ already very much polluted name.
The conflict occurred at a recording studio in LA where sources say that Brown had parked his car in a space specifically labelled for Ocean. The report did not detail how large this car park may have been and therefore the true nature of either party’s selfishness or need for drama, but either way, conflict was certainly caused. To begin with the story was just portrayed as Brown and his weedy self, needing an array of security in order to jump Ocean inside the recording studio. The details of how badly Ocean was hurt were published yesterday on MediaTakeOut who displayed a picture of Ocean’s figure which was badly cut. With the ratio of 3 ½: 1 (anybody with a crack head body like Brown does not count as a whole human) it’s lucky that Ocean’s finger was the only physical damage caused.
Brown is also on probation making the watchful eye on his actions even more amplified. As if this wasn’t bad enough, emerging reports stated that Brown or someone in his entourage referred to Ocean as a ‘faggot’ before unleashing his tiny guns. This is where the conflict becomes slightly more interesting. The media’s portrayal on the incident is now heavily focused around Brown’s homophobic slur. Was that worse for Ocean than the cut up finger? Maybe not, but that’s certainly what the media are alluding to. Before the release of Ocean’s debut album Channel Orange last summer he announced that he was bi-sexual. Due to some of the records being written about his previous male partners, he decided it was the most logical action to take. The music industry went almost insane for those few days surrounding Ocean’s ‘confession’. Beyonce even wrote on her blog about what an amazing and courageous man he is for doing so – which just proves Plummer’s (1995) point that – certainly for the hip hop and R&B side of the music industry that ‘‘the awareness of stigma that surrounds homosexuality leads the experience to become an extremely negative one’’ (p.89). This may or may not have been a negative experience for Ocean, but having his sexuality spotlighted during his conflict with Brown certainly exemplifies the issue.
Celebrities are always in a feud of some sort, but does the media attention catapult the issue unreasonably sky high? If a co-worker fell out with another and was referred to as a ‘faggot’, what are the chances that the police would get involved? I highly doubt either individual would see it to be a police matter, let alone take it to court. Although Ocean dropped the police charges amidst rumours that Brown had paid him $2m to keep silent (this would certainly put Brown’s probation into jeopardy) the coverage most definitely shows how one issue can quickly erupt into another if the wrong *cough, Chris Brown, cough* personalities are involved.