I'm on deadline today so am going to keep this one short and sweet: Despite being charged with two serious felonies in connection with the beating of his girlfriend, singer Rihanna, Chris Brown remains nominated for two Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. And he's using his MySpace page to beg for votes.
In response to questions by TMZ, which has been ahead of this story at every turn, the network is falling back on its kids-rule ethos:
This may come as a shock to Nickelodeon and Viacom, but while the kids may pick the winners, the parents still pick what shows the kids watch, at least in this house. And I can say right now that if Chris Brown remains nominated for an award, I will not let my son watch the show and will encourage other parents to boycott the network.
It's pretty sad when TMZ is setting the moral standard on an issue, but there you go. Ironically, Brown is nominated for the song "Kiss, Kiss" with T-Pain, who went to jail in '07 -- for driving with a suspended license.
Some will rightly point out that when Jamie Lynn Spears, then the star of a top-rated Nickelodeon show, became pregnant a few years back, the network didn't ostracize her. True, though it's apples-to-oranges unless you hold getting knocked up in the same regard as beating your girlfriend up.
Which I do not.
I also do not ever recall seeing video of Jamie Lynn Spears leaving a nightclub at 3 a.m., the way we watched the underage Brown do in Miami last week. We already know about the bad judgment Brown showed by putting his hands on a woman, and the potentially worse judgment Rihanna has shown by taking him back. But those are their bad choices to make.
Nick has a chance here to make a better, more responsible choice. And if it can't see fit to, parents will.
UPDATE: As of Wednesday morning, this online petition has nearly 9,000 signatures and other media are picking up the story.