Rogers pulls sponsorship after outcry over Chris Brown show
Upcoming concert prompts calls for boycott on social media
Rogers says it's pulling its sponsorship of an upcoming Chris Brown concert in Dartmouth, N.S., after people on Twitter and Facebook called for a boycott of the show.
The hip hop star is scheduled to perform at an event called Energy Rush at Alderney Landing on August 31.
But those opposed to the show say the people in the city shouldn't support the artist who was once convicted of assaulting his girlfriend.
Joanne Bernard, executive director of Alice Housing, which provides support for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse, said the fact that Brown apologized for his actions doesn't make him a good choice to headline an all ages concert in Dartmouth.
"It’s not a good message. It’s not a good message for young women and it’s certainly not a good message for young men," she said. "The world is full of Chris Brown’s who apologize after they beat a woman and they get caught … until the next time. It’s called the cycle of abuse."
Stephen Tobin, who speaks for concert promoter Drop Entertainment Group, said having Brown headline the concert is about the music.
"I am in no position to defend or to discuss Chris Brown's past behaviour or endeavours. I think in this particular circumstance, what we are promoting is, we are promoting the fact that Chris Brown is a multi-platinum award-winning artist of international calibre who is coming to the Maritimes," he said.
Others say they're fine with Brown performing.
"He got his consequences for what his actions were for it and that's pretty much it. I don't see why everyone else should hold something against him," said Brandon Barnaby.
"I personally don't have a problem with it," said Emily Dimmer. "I think enough time has passed and that it will be a good time overall."
Early Saturday morning, Rogers replied on Twitter, saying it's pulling its sponsorship from the event. The Rogers spokesperson said the company didn't know who would be headlining the show when they agreed to be the main sponsor.
This is not the first Chris Brown concert to face criticism.
Last November, organizers were forced to cancel a stadium concert in Georgetown, Guyana, after local protests over his 2009 beating of then-girlfriend Rihanna.
Women's rights groups and others said Brown was not welcome in the country.
Brown then backed out of the concert, citing discomfort with the protests.
In 2009, Brown hit, choked and bit Rihanna during an argument in Los Angeles. He later pleaded guilty to assault.
Since then, Brown has worked to repair his image, undergoing violence counselling and putting out a new album. He recorded a duet with Rihanna on her recently released record.
With files from The Canadian Press