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The Real Reason Chris Brown's Michael Jackson AMA Tribute Performance Was Canceled




Ever since Chris Brown's American Music Awards Michael Jackson tribute performance was abruptly canceled without explanation, there have been a plethora of conflicting reports as to what happened.


Chris Brown, Ciara and others were set to perform a medley of MJ's hits for the 40th anniversary for Thriller.


Jesse Collins and Stephen Hill, who executive produced the AMAs was pushing for the network to let Chris perform, but ABC head honchos were never notified that he would be performing.


Once ABC entertainment president Craig Erwich and head of alternative specials Rob Mills got wind of Brown's performance, they immediately gave the tribute the chop.


via Puck:


Brown is nominated for an AMA and has appeared at several awards shows since pleading guilty to physically assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, among other legal skirmishes. But this would have been the first time in the #MeToo era, since the BET Awards in 2017, that a televised show had invited him to perform. And Brown complained in August that he’s basically been shadow-banned for his past behavior.


Collins and Hill were furious, and in a call with Mills, they walked through the likely blowback of shutting down an opinionated performer with such a big fan following. Erwich, Mills, the Disney/ABC PR team, and Felicia Joseph, head of ABC talent, then debated the issue (Disney TV chief Dana Walden was even briefed). The upshot: Disney wasn’t opposed to Brown performing, it was just the pairing of this artist with this material that would be potentially radioactive and thus a nonstarter.


How can we do this in a way that is more thoughtful? Disney asked the producers, suggesting they come back with new options. But Brown, who had already rehearsed the Jackson medley, wasn’t interested in that—something the producers figured would be the case. So Brown bailed and posted some rehearsal footage on Instagram with the comment, “WOULDVE been the ama performance but they cancelled me for reasons unknown.”


At ABC and D.C.P., the reasons were definitely known, but the producers likely would have figured out a non-Jackson workaround if Brown was game. (Ciara, for instance, is now presenting on the show.) D.C.P. president Adam Stotsky apologized to the Disney folks for any miscommunications, and the show goes on tonight, without Brown. “Live shows change all the time, it’s the nature of this business,” a D.C.P. rep tells me in a statement. “Unfortunately, this element of the AMAs didn’t come together as we couldn’t align on the performance, to no fault of Chris Brown.” ABC declined to comment.


So execs had a problem with Chris Brown performing because of his bad boy antics? Rihanna has forgiven and moved on from Chris, yet the industry continues to play judge, jury and executioner when it comes to black artists.


I also don't understand why Michael Jackson's music couldn't be celebrated when there has been no evidence that he sexually abused anyone.


And they wonder why the AMAs only had under four million viewers tune in.


Check out the performance that could have been below...




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