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Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Awareness, activism on domestic abuse needed after celeb fight

Credit: Varonin
Credit: Varonin

A dark shadow was cast over the 51st Annual Grammys due to the conspicuous absence of two nominees: Chris Brown and Rihanna.  

The couple had been dating for over a year but was going through a rough patch which culminated in an incident of domestic violence, leaving Rihanna bruised and battered and Brown facing domestic violence felony charges.  

Brown, 19, allegedly assaulted his girlfriend, Rihanna, 21, and was arrested on Feb. 8 for suspicion of making criminal threats against a woman. He’s currently under investigation for alleged domestic violence felony charges, according to the LAPD.  

Things got more complicated with the leak of a police photo (supposedly) of Rihanna after the incident. The internet exploded with the release of this photo which was first posted on gossip site TMZ.

The picture shows a close up of a young woman with bruises and cuts on her forehead, cheeks and lips. Upon release of the photo on the internet, the LAPD started an internal investigation into the unauthorized release of the photo.

The pair is arguably one of the most high-profile couples on the music scene right now: so what could possess Chris Brown to completely throw his career under the train?  

Perhaps he’s got serious anger issues, or maybe he just hates “Disturbia.” Either way, Chris Brown seriously endangered his career with this incident, especially because Rihanna’s one of the most prolific singers in the United States.  

It’s practically impossible to go to any dance party or any club without hearing “Disturbia” or “Live Your Life.” That’s what strikes me as weird about Brown’s alleged violent tendencies: the incredible damage they may do to his status. Domestic violence is a major problem throughout the world because too often, women get blamed for provoking men.  

People, especially high-profile celebrities like Rihanna, should be more careful about their public image whether they are the abused or the abuser.  

Rihanna does indeed have the responsibility to speak up about domestic violence, especially because she is looked up to, or at least listened to by many people her age or younger.  

Brown issued an apology expressing his regret over the events that transpired and claimed to be seeking help from his pastor, mother and other loved ones in order to emerge as a better person. He couldn’t comment directly on the incident that occurred until all the legal issues involved had been resolved.

Interestingly enough, domestic violence doesn’t receive that much attention in the media. With a case like this, involving two young and popular singers, receiving so much attention, it makes me wonder: Do people care more about the incident because it’s domestic violence or because it happened to a singer like Rihanna?

In addition, the rise of the internet gossip sites like TMZ, who first leaked the photo onto the internet, contributes to the controversy surrounding this incident. The release of this photo could also lead to further legal issues regarding privacy if   shown to be an authentic image.  

I am not calling for incessant coverage surrounding the Rihanna/Brown scandal, but it would be nice to see more awareness and more activism rather than rumor and hearsay surrounding the scandal promoted by TMZ or Perez Hilton.  

Though Brown has issued an apology, one has to wonder what lies ahead for him. Will people continue to listen to his music and go to his concerts after hearing these accusations? And when Rihanna breaks her silence, she should speak up against domestic violence: people might just listen.  

The problem with celebrity relationships, and maybe the reason why the Brown/Rihanna relationship just wasn’t meant to be, lies with the constant microscope that the media puts every celebrity under, which examines every facet of their life. Sure, that’s how the paparazzi make money, but you’d think people would want to put their time and energy into something that doesn’t require exploiting the privacy of other people.  

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    SeanFeb 26, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    You definitely would “think people would want to put their time and energy into something that doesn’t require exploiting the privacy of other people.” The paparazzi and those behind the tabloid industry are of an ilk that is far from the normal person. They HOPE a celebrity does something bad or stupid, gets fat or committs adultery. Anything bad that happens INCREASES