Each year, the Nickelodeon Network holds its Kid Choice Awards. The awards show this year will be broadcast on March 28th on the Nickelodeon Network with Dwayne Johnson presiding. The show awards orange blimps as prizes to the winners who are voted on by viewers of the channel. The majority of these voters are children, tweens, and teens, and the votes can be cast by visiting www.nickelodeon.com.
The nominees and winners consist of movies, television shows, musical acts, and actors that appeal to the show’s core audience. The show is aired live and consists of performances by nominees and an abundance of green “slime” which is apt to be dumped on the host, nominees, or even audience members at any time. This year, along with the slime, we also have controversy. Chris Brown is nominated for two KCA awards, Favorite Male Singer and Favorite Song.
For anyone living under a rock since the Grammy Awards, Chris Brown is currently out on bail for the severe assault on his girlfriend Rhianna (who is also nominated for a Favorite Song Award). There was a hearing held this past week in California, and the next hearing in the case will be heard on April 6. Chris Brown faces up to four years and eight months in prison for the assault and the threats against Rhianna. The internet and tabloid television has been flooded with the leaked pictures of this young woman’s face. Details in the court proceedings outlined an incident by where Rhianna became upset after reading a text message by another woman that was sent to Chris. The ensuing assault consisted of Chris punching her in the face with his fist, putting her in a headlock, biting her on the ear, and threatening to kill her after she called an assistant and instructed them to have the police waiting at home when they arrived. He was assaulting her as he continued to drive with one hand, most likely putting other drivers on the road at risk as well. He finally stopped and put her out of the car and drove off and left her.
In the time since the assault, this has been prime fodder for news outlets, talk shows, and the tabloids. The discussion increased several fold once it was reported that Rhianna has apparently reconciled with Chris. On news sites the comments range from condemnation of Chris to those, including young women, who defend him by saying she brought the attack on herself. It is disconcerting to think that we actually have female members of the up and coming generation who would defend a man who would beat this woman so severely, simply because he is famous or a “teen idol”. Especially since it is the common opinion that this is probably not the first time it has happened.
TMZ and ABC both reported today that they have questioned Nickelodeon about why the nominations have not been withdrawn. Nickelodeon maintains that since the kids voted on the nominations, then it is their choice whether to vote for him for the awards, and they are not rescinding the nominations. What is even more disconcerting is that on Chris Brown’s MySpace page, his public relations team is actively campaigning for votes for him to win the two awards.
Domestic violence is a very real issue in this country. Many women and men are severely injured or killed each year as a result. After the assault, radio stations stopped playing Chris’ music, he lost some endorsement contracts, and several of his peers spoke out against his actions. While Nickelodeon has a point in saying that the nominations and voting are up to the kids, it also has a responsibility to those same kids to present a positive environment with respect to the awards. They should also take into consideration that the nomination votes were cast prior to the assault.
If Nickelodeon fails to act on this matter, there is one other option. Instead of Chris campaigning for votes on MySpace, maybe he should set the example and withdraw his name from the nominations. At this point, any accolades for this man may be misconstrued as acceptance of his actions. This is the last message that we want to send to the kids.