With the many allegations of sexual impropriety in the entertainment industry coming out by the day, it’s ironic that Chris Brown and R.Kelly’s song “Juicy Booty” is getting any form of airplay considering that both artist have been the subject of a few alleged improper acts against women during their career. Fans of both artists continue to support them even with the numerous bad acts involving women. Even in 2015 when the Grammys nominated Brown and Kelly at a time when they were aired a video segment against domestic violence. It didn’t go over too well with the viewers who took to social media to air their grievances about the timing and the Grammys’ “visual” position on the subject. Their actions spoke much louder than their words back then. The music industry doesn’t appear to be as unforgiving as Hollywood but only time will tell if that shift in the mix will come anytime soon.
Read more as reported by USA Today:
A Chris Brown/R. Kelly song has no right to exist in 2017.
This shouldn’t be a controversial statement to anyone with a cursory knowledge of the two men’s misdeeds. Yet, track three of Brown’s new 45-song album Heartbreak on a Full Moon features a collaboration between the two men — titled Juicy Booty, no less, which also includes singer Jhene Aiko.
The album’s timing is bitterly ironic, arriving during what’s being called a watershed moment for sexual harassment and abuse in the entertainment industry, as new accusers continue to come forward with allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and others.
Not only did Juicy Booty — from two entertainers who have been accused of numerous misdeeds against women — make it onto Brown’s album, but it’s also part of one of the week’s best-selling releases.
Heartbreak on a Full Moon premiered this week at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 album charts, becoming Brown’s ninth consecutive top 10 album.Hollywood may be experiencing a moment of reckoning, but for now, Brown and Kelly appear to be excluded.
It’s been almost nine years since the incident that should’ve ended Brown’s career, when he bloodied Rihanna’s face beyond recognition in an argument over a text message in 2009. Fast forward to June 2017, when a judge granted Brown’s ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran’s request for a restraining order against her former partner, claiming he threatened to kill her.
In between, a string of incidents show a clear pattern of Brown’s misconduct against women. In June 2013, a woman accused Brown of shoving her to the ground after a nightclub show in California. A Colorado woman filed charges against Brown in 2015 for third-degree assault, claiming he forced her off his tour bus after she wouldn’t surrender her cell phone. In 2016, a woman accused Brown of punching her in the face at a Las Vegas club for trying to take his picture. Later that year, Brown was charged with assault with a deadly weapon after a woman alleged that Brown pointed a gun at her face.
R. Kelly has a decades-long history of alleged sexual misconduct, including numerous lawsuits he settled out of court with female accusers. The singer has never been found guilty of any charges related to sexual harassment or assault, and has maintained his innocence throughout, with a jury acquitting him in his infamous 2002 child pornography case. Kelly continues to be embraced by fans, critics and the music industry, even as more accusers have come forward about his alleged predatory sexual behavior targeting women as young as middle schoolers.
Most recently, Kelly was accused of trapping women in a “sex cult” in a Buzzfeed report, with two additional women coming forward in recent weeks to corroborate the story’s shocking accounts of the alleged physical and psychological abuse Kelly inflicted against sometimes-underage women.
And yet, despite the parade of women who have accused Kelly and Brown of despicable acts, they have emerged from their respective scandals with their careers intact, and continue to receive fan and industry support.
Brown has spent the past month promoting Heartbreak on a Full Moon backed by his label, the Sony imprint RCA Records. RCA and TIDAL both hosted pop-up events celebrating the release, with Spotify teaming up with Brown for a video art project. Netflix helped set the stage for Brown’s comeback with its Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life documentary, released in early October. And next month, Brown is headlining three mega-concerts for iHeartMedia and CBS Radio stations.
Fans haven’t stopped listening to Brown’s earlier hits either, with his 2014 single Loyal going triple platinum this week.
Meanwhile, Kelly has five tour dates booked through the end of 2017. And from the looks of the R. Kelly shirt that Sam Smith wore, without a shred of irony, to a recent SNL afterparty, the singer’s name isn’t toxic enough to keep him from being a fashion statement.
For many of the men implicated in recent weeks, their histories of misconduct came as a surprise to some fans. But the charges against R. Kelly and Chris Brown have been public for decades. Listeners know who these men are. Yet, neither may ever see their careers end as a result, a fact that may have more to do with their choice of victims than as their crimes.
Tarana Burke, a sexual assault survivors advocate who started the Me Too Movement a decade ago, told USA TODAY that people might be more outraged by the Harvey Weinstein allegations than those of Bill Cosby, R. Kelly or Bill O’Reilly because Weinstein’s victims were well-known white women.
“In the case of Cosby, the women were connected or (Hollywood) industry-adjacent,” Burke says. “In the case of O’Reilly, they (initially) were women who were relatively unknown in the journalism world. And in the case of R. Kelly, they were black girls.”
Jim DeRogatis, the Chicago reporter who has led the coverage of Kelly’s victims for decades, shared his takeaways from the cases with the Village Voice in 2013, “The saddest fact I’ve learned is nobody matters less to our society than young black women,” he said. “Nobody.”
And as Chris Brown’s continued fame has shown, even when his victims happen to be famous, as Rihanna was at the time of her 2009 attack, that may not be enough turn fans away.
As this week’s Billboard numbers show, R&B’s Teflon men continue to profit from the music industry’s complicity and, worse, from listeners’ apathy, a willingness to look past their histories while implicating other male celebrities for similar crimes. Whether Brown and Kelly will ever suffer consequences largely depends on whether music fans decide to start paying attention.
Source: USA Today