It’s been almost a week since Chris Brown was charged with battery for allegedly beating up some woman (possibly his girlfriend Rihanna) in a car Sunday night, and as Brown remains silent and people are left to speculate about what happened, his squeaky clean image is taking a major hit.
So what better way to try to get it back than to hire a crisis PR expert? Which is exactly what he’s doing, says EW’s Lynette Rice.
Brown’s people are supposedly talking with several crisis-management experts including Alan Nierob, who helped Mel Gibson recover from his anti-semitic comments incident, and Howard Bragman, who advised former Grey’s Anatomy star Isaiah Washington after he used a homophobic slur to refer to castmate T.R. Knight.
Neither’s been hired yet, but Bragman told ew.com that it will be a long road to recovery for Brown.
“What he is accused of doing is a bad thing -– and I’m talking about that in the court of public opinion,” Bragman said. “The only thing probably worse is murder, rape, and hurting an animal…You can go home again, but it takes time…He has to strap himself in and be ready for a long ride. It’s not a comfortable ride.”
Meanwhile, more radio DJs are considering the future of Brown’s career as they weigh whether to stop playing his music.
Billboard: “It’s solely up to the fans who buy and listen to music to decide where his career goes from here,” says Jeff Anderson, OM of Radio One’s urban WCDX Richmond, Va. “In my personal opinion, his clean image has been bruised. But with damage control of an apology and anger management, he’ll find a way to bounce back … if his music is hot.”…
Other stations have handled the situation differently. Pulling Brown’s music is “a little too extreme right now,” according to WCDX’s Anderson. “A good percentage of the industry has had its run-ins with the law, and we still play their music.” DJ Law, PD of Clear Channel’s urban WOWI-FM Norfolk, Va., says most of his listeners are waiting to hear more details about the alleged altercation before making a decision. “Most of them are reluctant to turn their backs on him before having all the facts placed before them.”…
Brown already lost a couple of endorsements, at least temporarily (that “Got Milk?” campaign was supposed to expire this week anyways), but his rap sheet may hurt future deals.
“Those are the real challenges brands face when they align their products with individuals,” says Jay Coleman, CEO of Entertainment Marketing & Communications. “You look at their history and make a calculated analysis of risk, but you never know.”