If you want to know what it looks like when male artists show solidarity with women and women’s issues, the Dublin hip-hop group Original Rudeboys just provided a great example of it, turning down a chance to open for Chris Brown:
A member of the group Sean Walsh said: ‘Even though it’s a huge opportunity to play in the O2 with a major hip hop star and a substantial fee was offered, we are completely against Chris Brown’s assault on Rihanna.’
The group also claimed they didn’t want to mislead their own fans as their latest single ‘Blue Eyes’ is about domestic violence.
Sean said: ‘In addition, with our latest single ‘Blue Eyes’ being about domestic violence it goes against everything we are about as a band and supporting Chris would send out the wrong message to our fans.’
It’s one thing to talk the talk, and another to take an actual financial and long-term growth hit in order to stay consistent with what you believe—or, like John Scalzi, to spend actual time and energy arguing the good fight instead of simply saying the right thing when you’re asked and it’s convenient to do so. I hope this comes back for them in all the best ways. And while it’s a little hard to track down good streaming audio of their stuff, I’d be up for hearing more of this:
On a related note, the argument’s been made, I think effectively, that some of the reaction to Chris Brown has been racialized, making a black man a scapegoat for domestic violence while famous white men with even worse records get to continue on their way. I do think that there’s an extent to which Brown appears to be trolling people who are dismayed by his behavior, since disapprobation seems to have hardened support among his core fans, as is the case with his decision to dress up as a jihadi stereotype for Halloween.
But I do think that there are racial differences between the response to Brown and the response to white men of a certain profitability behaving badly. And I can’t think of a better example of that than how quickly a silence descended around FX’s decision to work with Charlie Sheen, and to stay in business with him after the first ten episodes of Anger Management, and the fact that when the news came down yesterday that Fox had struck a deal to syndicate the sitcom on nine affiliate stations, that it went relatively uncommented upon. I’d like to think that the news that more Fox divisions are getting into business with a guy with a long record of violence against women is news. And if equality is what we’re after, I’d like to see the same kind of pressure on Sheen to behave constructively and respectfully towards women if he wants public approbation that’s being applied to Brown.