All Articles Tagged "Oprah and Rihanna"
Watching Rihanna talk to Oprah on OWN’s “Next Chapter” special last night, it was almost as though the cameras weren’t even rolling. It took nothing but Oprah to ask Rihanna about herself, her grandmother, and of course, Chris Brown, for her to completely open up in one of the most honest and introspective interviews the “good girl gone bad” has probably given since she talked to Diane Sawyer following the former couple’s domestic incident in 2009.
Though this next statement may come back to haunt me next time I have to write about a rumor concerning these two, what I appreciated about Rihanna candidness was that in my mind she put an end to the Chris Brown speculation. Does she still love him? Are they still dating? Do they still hang out? Has she forgiven him? The answers were yes across the board and it was quite courageous of her to admit those things amidst the scrutiny of her fans, and especially her haters, Breezy’s fans and haters, the general public, and domestic violence organizations who have already bashed her for being honest.
When I listened to Rihanna say she repaired her relationship with her father and was subsequently able to forgive Chris, and her admission that the two of them had forgotten self-discipline and needed something to slow them down, I felt I was listening to a woman who had learned from her experience. A woman who was finally able to make sense of the incident and who knew that Chris’s lashing out was a sign of a much deeper problem that she may or may not have provoked. I felt it was a declaration of who she was at 24 years old in 2012 in relation to Chris brown and their 2009 altercation and I appreciated her bravery in doing so and giving the media no more rumors to speculate about. She laid the truth out there, like it or not.
Of course, there were indeed some people who didn’t like it at all, namely domestic violence organizations. EurWeb picked up two statements on the matter, one from Vivienne Hayes, chief executive of the Women’s Resource Center, who said yesterday:
“Rihanna’s case demonstrates the emotional complexities felt by women locked in abusive relationships. It is common for victims to blame themselves for violence perpetrated by their male partners. Whatever the nature of the argument, [Brown] chose to beat her up. He has to accept responsibility for that choice. And we need to stop society allowing us to normalize such behavior.”
Another woman, Erin Pizzey, an advocate who is credited for pioneering aid for abused women by setting up Britain’s first refuge center for victims, added:
“This sends out a very dangerous message to teenagers that roller-coaster relationships with violence-prone personalities are edgy and exciting. They’re not. The relationship is toxic and unhealthy. Both are in need of help and that is the message that young people should be receiving.”
I wonder if these women skipped past the part in Rihanna’s interview when she said she had no desire to be a role model, not just so she could wile out and live that thug life she tatted on her, but because of the pedestal that comes along with being a role model and the expectation of perfection.
I liken Rihannas reaction to this situation to the reason I believe certain celebrities choose to never come out and declare their homosexuality. Once you do that you’re automatically expected to be a spokesperson for some cause (like same-sex marriage rights) and consequently you are criticized if you don’t. People are expecting Rihanna to say her relationship with Chris is irrevocably broken and that she is the face of domestic violence when in her mind she is the furthest thing from. As she said, she never wanted to be a victim and she never wanted to be defined by this situation . Unfortunately, there’s little she can do to change the media’s obsession toward the latter point but she doesn’t have to relive that incident everyday just because a few nonprofits would like her to. That’s not her platform and we have no choice but to accept that. Sadly in this day and age, there are many other pop culture and entertainment icons teens in potentially violent relationships can look up to for examples of women who have survived abuse and cut all ties with their abuser. Let’s stop putting that pressure on Rihanna.
As the pop singer said in her interview no one was more hurt by the events that transpired after Clive Davis’ Grammy party that Saturday night three years ago and no one will experience the positive or negative consequences of maintaining a friendship with Chris like she will. Though many believe the “once an abuser always an abuser” mantra, if that’s true of Chris Brown, it remains to be seen. The bottom line is Rihanna has to live with her choices and she hasn’t asked anyone else to cosign or support her in doing so. It’s her life, and she has to live it.
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In the three years since the fight with Chris Brown that landed her in the hospital, Rihanna has talked about it in only one interview. She’s given tons of interviews since the one with Diane Sawyer, but it seems the 2009 incident is off limits as is her love life in general. Just this past April, she stormed out of an interview in Australia after the reporter asked her about her love life. That likely sent the memo to the press, “don’t go there”.
But Oprah is not just part of the press. She’s the Queen of Talk and nothing seems to be off-limits for her. In an interview slated to air on OWN’s “Next Chapter” this Sunday, Oprah got Rihanna to open up about the 2009 incident and where she is at with Chris Brown. Talking about the aftermath of the fight brought Rihanna to tears as she told Oprah:
I lost my best friend, like everything I knew switched in a night. I couldn’t control that and I had to deal with that so it wasn’t easy for me to understand or interpret. And it’s not easy to interpret on camera with the world watching. So it’s hard for me to pay attention to my mind and figuring things out because now it became a circus and I felt protective. I felt like the only person that they hate right now is him and it was a weird confusing space to be in. Cause’ as angry as I was, as hurt and betrayed, I felt that he made that mistake because he needed help. Who’s going to help him? Nobody is going to say, “he needs help”. Everyone is going to say he’s a monster without looking at the source. I was more concerned about him.
Personally, for Rihanna to call him her best friend after he busted her face up like that is perplexing. It’s just further evidence that the concepts of love and friendship in our community are all sorts of warped. Does smashing a girl’s face in negate all the good a relationship had been or could have been? In a word, yes. Nobody’s “best friend” sends them to the emergency room.
As far as the interview itself, Oprah probably would have not even brought up the fight if rumors of a reconciliation between Rihanna and Chris Brown hadn’t been heating up over the past several months. For everyone wishing people would stop bringing up the “incident”, the fact is, these two will probably never be together again in peace because the public will never forget that fight. The only way for the public to get over it is for them to get over each other and stop trying to pretend like nothing happened. Whether they like it or not, Rihanna/Chris Brown is still practically synonymous with “violent dating relationship”. It actually would have been odd if Oprah wouldnot have brought it up, thus clearly ignoring the elephant in the room.
I’m interested to hear what she has to say about where they’re at now.
Chris saw the video clip. Of course he saw it, how do you think he feels? He feels horrible he did that. Watching [Rihanna's interview with Oprah] made him realize he made a big mistake and he’s been paying for it ever since. He’s working hard, in the studio, dancing, doing everything he can to rebuild his name and career and I think he has been successful in doing all that. Y’all should be talking about his road to recovery and how he’s been a man and made s–t right. He and Rih are cool, more cool than anyone will know. She forgave the [boy] the minute that s–t went down, so what that say about their relationship?”
It says these two would be better off going their separate ways for good because as long as they continue to toy with the media hinting at a reconciliation, nobody is going to stop talking about what he did.
What do you think about this interview? Will you watch it?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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Rihanna’s penchant for checking somebody on Twitter with the quickness, forgetting to wear bras under see-trough shirts, and basically telling anyone who comes at her sideways she doesn’t give a you know what, has earned her a bit of a bada** title. But Oprah has gotten beyond Rihanna’s superficial entertainment image for her next “Oprah’s Next Chapter” special on OWN.
We haven’t seen a thoughtful interview with Rihanna since she sat down with Diane Sawyer following the Chris Brown incident, but it looks like the reigning talk show queen has managed to humanize Ri Ri again and remind us she’s a person with feelings, fears, and insecurities just like everybody else. On Sunday, August 19, at 9/8c, the Barbados bad girl will bear all on OWN, but for now check out the preview of the interview.
Will you watch?
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