This is stupid.
News Channel 5 is reporting that Cleveland pop radio station 96.5 KISS has removed all Chris Brown songs from their playlist.
Brown and his (current) girlfriend pop singer Rihanna were both scheduled to perform at the Grammys but their trip was sidetracked by a alleged confrontation that allegedly took place in a car between the two pop stars.
Here's the News Channel 5 report.
Channel 96.5 KISS FM removed the music until further notice.
Brown, 19, was arrested late Sunday night on suspicion of making a criminal threat. He is under investigation for allegedly attacking his girlfriend, 20-year-old singer Rihanna, police said. Rihanna reportedly suffered visible injuries in the alleged physical confrontation in a car.
"After the alleged incident the phones exploded," said evening personality Java Joel. "It's all that people wanted to talk about. They were outraged at this alleged behavior and wondered why we were continuing to support his music. I agreed and immediately pulled all Chris Brown songs from my show until this thing shakes out in the legal system."
"His listeners have strong feelings about these unfortunate events, and he made the decision to take the Chris Brown songs off the radio while he is on the air. I then made the decision to rid the whole station of Chris Brown songs while this plays out," said Program Director Bo Matthews.
Gum-maker Wrigley also suspended its campaign with the R&B singer.
As for Rihanna, her publicist only released a statement saying the singer is "well."
Ok, here's my beef.
If Java Joel and matthews had simply said "listeners say they don't want to hear Chris Brown right now, so we're not going to play him," I would have been OK with that.
But in his own quote Joel uses the word "alleged" a few times so he obviously knows a bit about slander and defamatory statements in terms of the legal system.
Yet they have already taken action against Brown when (unless I missed a news flash) there are literally no confirmed details about the incident other than Brown was arrested. The charge isn't even "domestic violence" or assault but the less specific and physical "suspicion of a criminal threat"
Here's why Java Joel, Bo Matthews and the rest of those KISS FM folks are hypocrites.
In the damn near decade that R. Kelly was on or near trial for having sex with a child (which included video taped evidence), I know damn well I heard "Flirt" and "Heaven I need Hug" and the other singles from the albums Kelly kept churning out while his legal troubles were being resolved being played on the radio.
Now, in Kelly's case there was a widely bootlegged videotape of him HAVING SEX WITH A CHILD but that didn't seem to deter his career much. And don't tell me their singing to different audiences because I've been to an R. Kelly concert and there were plenty of tween and teenaged girls all tarted up to listen to him wail about how their bodies remind him of his jeep (still, one of the dumbest "love" songs ever).
Also, going back a few more years, I don't recall Michael Jackson losing much radio airplay back in 1993 when the first allegations of child abuse began being reported/investigated
Yet Brown, who so far has not been charged with any form of physical abuse (and I'm not discounted the power of verbal/mental abuse), is already being ostracized and having his career affected based on sketchy reports and rumors and a charge that so far isn't even "criminal threat" but "suspicion" thereof.
I'm no particular fan of Brown's music, and please do not misunderstand me. If he physically or verbally abused Rihanna or any woman he should be publicly raked across the coals, stoned in the town square and encouraged to get help for his issues.
But KISS FM's preemptive strike just ain't right.
Wrigley's suspension surprises me less, as many corporate sponsors will bail on their star spokesmen the second any hint of impropriety arises.
I believe one of the cornerstone of our legal system is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. That doctrine, of course, doesn't necessarily apply to the court of public opinion. But can we at least wait until we gain some idea of what actually (allegedly) happened before we start trying to ruin the kid's career?
KISS 96.5 FM sucks.