Chris Brown: Same old song and dance

In a preview of his CNN interview, the R&B star sings the tune of abusers everywhere

Topics: Broadsheet,

Chris Brown: Same old song and danceChris Brown on Larry King

Half a year after brutalizing his then-girlfriend — by hitting, choking, biting and threatening to kill her — Chris Brown is still following the script of domestic abusers everywhere. He loves her, he really does, it was totally unlike him and he promises to never ever do it again. That’s the tune the R&B crooner sings in a clip from his pre-taped interview for “Larry King Live,” which airs in full this Wednesday at 9 p.m.

The 30-second teaser, which you will find below, doesn’t reveal the full extent of Brown’s feelings about the attack, but what we are shown can be summed up like so: “It’s just like, wow.” Softballer Larry King asks: “When you hear about all the things the police reports say you did, what do you think of that?” Brown, clad in a boyish baby blue sweater and bow tie, looking ready for his first day of kindergarten, replies: “I just look at it like, wow. I’m in shock, because first of all that’s not who I am as a person and that’s not who I promise I want to be. When I look at the police reports or hear about the police reports, I don’t know what to think. I just don’t know what to think. It’s just, like, wow.” On an identical note, CNN reports that in a clip not yet released Brown addresses the widely circulated image of a bruised and battered Rihanna: “When I look at it now, it’s just like, wow, like, I can’t — I can’t believe that — that actually happened.” He also says he doesn’t remember “doing it,” as King so indirectly puts it.

Embedded video from CNN Video

As with his scripted apology, Brown dances around what he did. It’s this unspecified thing he can’t remember doing — despite having confessed to it. This all serves to distance him from the image of Rihanna’s battered face, which has been burned into our collective pop consciousness. Not only does he not remember unleashing such rage upon his ex-girlfriend, but he can’t even believe he did that, you know, thing that he did. The message is that he’s a nice boy, a good boy and not an abuser. Never mind that abusers are so often nice boys, good boys — when they aren’t abusing. Let’s not forget that he was involved in two prior domestic violence incidents with Rihanna.

CNN also reports that in as-yet-unseen footage, he announces that he still loves Rihanna. The declaration of love, the shock at being overtaken by such uncharacteristic rage and the promise to never do it again — it’s straight out of a domestic violence PSA. The only difference here is that he’s telling this to us, the American public, the fans he’s trying to win back, instead of his lover. I can only hope — for his sake and that of his worshipful young fans — that the full interview reveals Brown as being ready and willing to confront in uncensored detail what he did and begin to work at truly healing himself.

Embedded video from CNN Video

Tracy Clark-Flory

Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter and Facebook.

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