Music

Justin Bieber Slammed For Labelling Chris Brown’s Past Abuse As “A Mistake”

Brown was convicted of assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009.

Chris Brown Justin Bieber photo

In 2009, Chris Brown was convicted of assaulting his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. Although Brown has received regular criticism from the media and public at large for his criminal actions, he has arguably received little-to-no long term repercussions — he still has an active music career, headlines festivals, and tours regularly.

— Content warning: This story discusses domestic abuse —

Moreover, he has been protected by a series of high profile celebrity friends — most recently pop star Justin Bieber, who has rushed to Brown’s defence, calling the man’s criminal past “a mistake.”

The defence came in the form of an Instagram post describing Brown as a combination between Tupac and Michael Jackson (the latter, needless to say, has his own criminal past.) “The people who have over looked this mans [sic] talent because of a mistake he made… you need to reevaluate!” Bieber wrote to his mostly teenaged fanbase.

Presumably, Bieber’s decision to defend the controversial star was born out of the recent back and forth between Brown and the Scottish band Chvrches. Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry called out their one-time collaborator Marshmello for agreeing to work with Brown. As a result of those comments, Brown himself weighed in, claiming that he’d like to see the band hit by a bus. Chvrches have had to increase security at their shows because of the threats made by Brown’s fans.

For his part, Brown has been receptive to the defence, calling Bieber “a king.”

“Thank you for believing in me,” Brown wrote as a comment on the Instagram post.

However, the post has not been received so warmly by the public at large. The hashtag #JustinBieberIsCancelled has been trending on Twitter, and his post is being criticised by both fans of the ‘Baby’ pop star and the public at large.

For his part, Bieber has only responded to the backlash tangentially, calling out “bullying” in an Instagram story.

“Bullying is not okay!” he wrote. “Ever. It is actually killing people, young people.”

Of course, there is a difference between bullying and calling out the defence of a high profile abuser. Whether or not Bieber understands that difference and is simply trying to deflect criticism, or whether he remains ignorant to it, is not clear.