If you thought that this latest entry in the Chris Brown saga was going to be another court date or judicial decision, then you were wrong. It's much worse than any of that. According to TMZ, BET is considering a Chris Brown reality show about his life after prison and they're serious enough about it that they've already started testing the idea with focus groups of African-American women. Brown was just released from jail in early June and already he's on the watch list for attending a party with alcohol the same day he was released and collaborating with Justin Bieber, of all people, on a song. Now he could get a reality show? Can I get a noooooooooooooo?
Listen, the last thing that Chris Brown needs is to be on television. The last thing I want to see on television is Chris Brown. While it's understandable that BET recognizes Chris Brown as a person of considerable interest, giving him a reality television show as a result of that is a bad idea. In fact, it's one of the worst ideas anyone could possibly come up with. Just the idea of a title like Chris Brown: Life After Jail makes me want to weep diamond tears.
If this story is true, then BET really needs to consider the following things before they make this huge mistake.
1. Rewarding bad behavior only leads to more of it.
The biggest and most obvious reason not to give Chris Brown a reality show is that it sounds like a reward for his misconduct. Brown isn't famous at this point; he's infamous. Almost every time his name is in the news, it's because of some new lawsuit or outburst. To release him from jail and then offer him a reality show contract is basically absolving him from, or worse glorifying him for, his crimes.
2. His outrageous crimes are genuinely outrageous.
When watching a reality television show, we love to hate the dramatic member of the cast, the one who's always screaming and fighting and getting into trouble. Chris Brown, therefore, would seem like the perfect choice for a show because that's more or less all he ever does. However, Brown's crimes generally involve some kind of assault and he's put someone in the hospital doing so before. Not exactly the kind of thing anyone should want to watch happen.
3. The last thing he needs is more attention on him.
Ever since being released from jail, Chris Brown has been laying low and working on his next album. In fact, since early June, we haven't heard much of anything about him at all. And that's a good thing. In fact, it's the best thing. Shoving Chris Brown back into the forefront of the public eye would only make it more likely that he's going to spiral again. Intense scrutiny doesn't really lead to good rehabilitation.
4. "Lindsay" tanked after one season.
If BET is still mistakenly thinking that Brown is the kind of controversial figure prone to messing up that would make a good reality television star, then they need to look to Lindsay on the OWN network. Except they can't, because it got cancelled. Lindsay Lohan was in a downward spiral of her own that led to a lot of controversial moments and the reality show was meant to be her redemption tale. It fell flat — just like Brown's would.
5. People would only be watching to see him fall.
Along the same vein of cameras being bad for rehabilitation, the audience of the reality TV show would be even worse for any potential recovery that Brown could be making. According to the Rolling Stone article, most of the focus group were curious to see if Brown could stay out of trouble. Essentially, people would only tune in to the show to see Brown trip up and steadily lose interest until and unless he did. That's not the kind of atmosphere that should be surrounding Brown right now. There are only so many assault cases a man should get arrested for. (The number is zero and he's way over that already.)