Op-Ed: Chris Brown’s mea culpa with Matt Lauer on ‘Today’

Chris Brown Matt Lauer interview

April 1, 2013 ‘Today’ show interview between Matt Lauer and Chris Brown. photo source: VH1.com

For a long time, I was outspoken about the incident where Chris Brown beat up Rihanna. I was not only mad that it happened, but I was angered by Chris Brown’s seeming lack of remorse when communicating online and in television interviews.  Where was his true mea culpa moment? I kept referring back to Michael Vick and how he worked tirelessly to repair his image after being busted and kicked out of the NFL for running a dog-fighting ring. If Michael Vick could dedicate his time to the Humane Society as one of many symbolic gestures of remorse, then why couldn’t Chris Brown put his name behind a non-profit for women who are victims of domestic violence?  That mattered more to me than the latest status on his relationship with Rihanna or the slew of scuffles with other celebrities at nightclubs over the years.

Who was Chris Brown’s publicist, and what kind of advice were they giving him? Why did he continue to show anger for years when reporters confronted him on the subject?

I liked Chris Brown before February 8, 2009, and I wanted to like him again. Therefore, it was a relief for me to hear a form of remorse, mea culpa if you will, that I’ve been waiting for in his April 1, 2013 interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today” show. I agree with Matt Lauer that he spoke like a “changed man” and dressed like one, too, donning a shirt patterned with peace signs and hearts. That’s good PR (public relations) which is all we have to work from as people and not God or Rihanna.

Excerpt that captures the crux of the interview:

Matt Lauer: You’ve been here several times over the last three years.  The biggest difference I would note, and tell our viewers about is right now, you are agreeing to sit down and talk about things that you hadn’t talked about over the last three years, and I’m talking about the incident in 2009 with Rihanna where you were charged with a felony and convicted of a felony.  You say in the interviews that I’ve read over the last couple of days, even, that you are a changed man, that you’re different. How are you different?

Chris Brown: Well, you know, for me, I’ve been humbled by the whole experience, from me losing everything to me having to regain public opinion, or whatever it is. But most importantly, you know, knowing that what I did was totally wrong, and having to kind of deal with myself and forgive myself in the same breath, and being able to apologize to Rihanna, and being able to be that man that can be a man, you know?

Here’s the full interview between Matt Lauer and Chris Brown. The above quoted section occurs about 1:12 into the interview.

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I don’t envy anyone whose failures and successes play out in front of the world and the speculative media. At 23 years young, hopefully Chris Brown is finally “getting it”- how to handle his public persona.

I forgive you, Chris Brown.

Kudos to Matt Lauer who did a fantastic job with this interview. He questioned Chris Brown from every angle, now that all topics were fair game.

Readers, are you ready to forgive Chris Brown?

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