My mind tried to wrap itself around the Chris Brown/'Good Morning America' incident. I figured that Chris would be on his way to jail, given that busting out a window is not exactly legal and nearly any decision to break the law amounts to a parole violation. But I saw and heard almost nothing indicating that Chris was going to experience any significant legal consequence from his behavior.
Throughout the day, there were reports of Chris going in and out of museums, hanging out with his girlfriend, eating at fancy restaurants, etc. I saw nothing about him heading to jail in handcuffs, meeting with his lawyers or hiding out in an unsecured location. Those were the kinds of things Chris might have been doing when he initially attacked the singer Rihanna two years ago, but that was hardly his demeanor in New York City.
I then made a few other interesting observations about the Chris Brown/'Good Morning America' incident. After Chris busted out the window and yelled at the top of his lungs about his anger over the interview, he tore off his shirt and stormed out of the building. Okay, is it just me, or does it seem odd that a person would take their shirt off right before walking out into the middle of Manhattan in 40-degree weather, right as the police and media are about to converge on him?
What better way to sell your new record than to have every media outlet in the country taking pictures of you without your shirt on? Sorry, Chris, but I don't believe your tirade was real. Personally, I think it was a hoax. Meagan Morris at Sheknows.com also agrees. Morris noted that Kanye West did effectively the same thing by having a meltdown on The Today Show after being asked about the "Taylor Swift incident" at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009. Oh yeah, West also happened to have his melt down right before his album was released. Funny how these things work.
The stunt likely worked for Mr. Brown. His album already possesses several hit songs and the 'Good Morning America' incident got his name in the headlines. Additionally, going off the handle in public like this firmly secures Chris in his new bad boy image, which allows him to actually make a profit off the fact that so many people consider him to be a menace to society. He is now performing with more hip-hop artists than ever before, and one of his songs, 'Look at Me Now,' features the ultimate bad boy, Lil Wayne.
It appears that the bad boy thing is working for Chris and he is rising back to the top. His first alleged stunt -- crying when performing on the BET Awards -- didn't go so well. The truth is that most of us are simply puppets to the whims of ego-maniacal celebrities and their managers. Entertainment is a business, and the bottom line is that's all that matters. So media attention by any means necessary almost always amounts to profitability.
As for me, I'm done trying to defend Chris Brown. He seems to have embraced the concept of "thugism." Perhaps Lil Wayne is his new role model, but I hope Chris realizes the consequences of courting attention at all costs. This may not end well for him.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your e-mail, please click here. To follow Dr. Boyce on Facebook, please click here.