Chris Brown was intended to perform a Michael Jackson tribute with Ciara at this year’s AMAs. The performance was scrapped at the last minute. A statement released by Dick Clark Productions states the decision was due to “differences of creative direction”, Entertainment Tonight reports. In addition to not performing, Brown decided not to attend the event.
It is unclear what the real reason behind the controversial decision is. The explanation is convenient and vague, but it makes sense on the heels of “cancel culture”. Chris Brown performed a Michael Jackson tribute at the BET Awards way back in 2010. Of course, the BET Awards and the AMAs are two very different award shows. And 2010 and 2022 are two very different cultural contexts.
Still, many celebrities are coming to Chris’s defense. Kelly Rowland was presenting the award that Chris won, and she responded with support for Chris after the audience booed his win. Jordin Sparks chimed in with a similar plea, urging for forgiveness. Chris himself posted rehearsal footage.
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While Ciara also posted footage of her rehearsing with the pop star. She also voiced her support for the artist. In a Tweet, she calls him a “rare breed of this generation.”
Perhaps mainstream culture in general is a lot different twelve years later, but it is more likely that BET is simply a different platform than the AMAs. It seems that this year, the AMAs was asking very introspective questions about who they would like to be as an award show. As audience members, we should ask ourselves the same types of questions. Which artists do we as fans want to see honored with awards, tributes, and ceremonies? And, what do these artists represent about us fans?