This week sucked. For a lot of reasons. Let’s talk about it. 

People are still going to bat for Chris Brown

Last weekend at the American Music Awards, Kelly Rowland went to bat for Chris Brown while accepting the award for Favourite Male R&B artist on his behalf. Amidst a sea of boos and whispers, Rowland told the audience to “chill out” and thanked him for his contribution to the music industry. Brown was slated to perform a tribute to the late Michael Jackson at the award show, but the segment was pulled last minute. I wonder why. 

Rowland isn’t the only woman going to bat for the R&B artist. Since the show, Ciara and Jordin Sparks have added to the chorus of voices suggesting that people, namely Brown, deserve the chance to learn and grow. People deserve grace. 

The conversation about separating the art from the artist, particularly when it comes to Chris Brown seems to cycle through Twitter every few months. The argument is usually something loosely along the lines of, “Chris Brown beat Rihanna over 10 years ago, get over it.” 

If Chris Brown took accountability from the incident with Rihanna, learned from his mistakes, and tried to respectfully repair his career over the past decade, people might have a point.

But that’s not the case. Since the infamous incident in 2009, Brown has done very little to show that he has grown from that incident. In fact, I’d say the opposite has happened.

Over the past decade, Brown’s been accused of sexual assault, battery, and collected multiple restraining orders—including one from ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran. 

Not to mention that it’s often the same people doing gymnastics trying to defend him and his career, that call Meg the Stallion a liar after  being shot by Tory Lanez. 

It’s been 10 years, and someone like Chris Brown is deemed as more worthy of defense than actual survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. 

But everyone deserves grace, right? 

Marvel slander

Martin Scorsese is critical of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For good reason, too—the renowned filmmaker has been open about how he thinks Marvel movies aren’t necessarily “cinema”. 

He even penned an op-ed essay in The New York Times to that effect, clarifying how he doesn’t believe that Marvel films touch on what cinema truly is. 

To Scorsese, cinema is about “characters–the complexity of people and their contradictory and sometimes paradoxical natures, the way they can hurt one another and love one another and suddenly come face to face with themselves.”  

This week, Quentin Tarantino chimed in on the Marvel discourse. He discussed what he calls the “Marvel-ization of Hollywood”— which touches on how the legacy of characters has taken away from the stardom of actors.

Funnily enough, Anthony Mackie, known for playing Falcon in the MCU has said almost the exact same thing. 

Even though literally no one was talking to him, Simu Liu decided to weigh in on the topic.

But especially in a post pandemic industry, I think the point that many filmmakers are trying to make is that the inevitable box-office success of almost every Marvel film is making it harder for smaller, more human (literally) stories to be funded.

People are more hesitant to make movies about actual people because they’re worried they’ll lose money. They’d rather put their money behind something more robust, like a Disney movie.

Now don't get me wrong, I love a good Marvel movie. I get to watch colourful action scenes couples with terrible dialogue and glaring plot holes. I'll spend my money on a ticket to watch a Marvel movie with friends. At the very least, I'll get a rush of child-like nostalgia. It's okay for Marvel to mean something simple and silly to people.

That doesn't mean it's ground-breaking cinema, either.

That’s all for this week, folks. There were more topics I wanted to get into, but I’ll have to save them for next week. 



About the author

Jeevan Sangha

Jeevan is a writer, producer and the editor-in-chief of 5XPress. She loves writing about pop-culture, media, politics and everything about the South Asian diaspora. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Sociology and has previously worked in community engagement and mental health. When she isn’t writing, you can find her over-caffeinating, binging a new show or sharing her thoughts on Twitter @jeevanksangha

Instagram: @jeevanksangha 

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