Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Dump Brown: activist

Petition seeks to have singer's show cancelled

  • Print
Kelcy Beirnes wants promoters to dump Chris Brown's concert at the MTS Centre Aug. 29. The promoter balks at the suggestion.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Kelcy Beirnes wants promoters to dump Chris Brown's concert at the MTS Centre Aug. 29. The promoter balks at the suggestion. Photo Store

Not in our town, Chris Brown.

That's the message Kelcy Beirnes hopes to get across to the promoter involved in bringing the controversial American singer to Winnipeg next month. Taking a cue from a grassroots effort in Halifax, which saw an online anti-Brown petition surpass 11,000 signatures and four corporate sponsors pull out of Brown's appearance there next month, Beirnes started her own petition on Change.org Monday, asking promoters of the Energy Rush tour to shelve the Aug. 29 show at MTS Centre.

"It's a really shameful thing for us to be having this concert here," Beirnes said Tuesday. "Of all the artists we could have brought in we have to hire somebody who is a terrible role model. We're rewarding terrible behaviour and we're bringing a criminal into our country."

Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009. The incident, which saw Brown hit and choke his fellow pop star during an argument in Los Angeles, drew attention to violence against women and created a public-relations nightmare for Brown -- one he hasn't been able to pull out of due to continued run-ins with the law.

The controversy surrounding Brown hasn't hurt the popularity of his music, though. His last two full-length albums, F.A.M.E. (released in 2011) and Fortune (2012) both reached the top of the Billboard charts. His new album X is set for release later this summer.

Susie Parker is also not down with Brown coming to Winnipeg, as she's in the planning stages of a benefit at Academy Lanes to raise money for Osborne House -- a local women's shelter and victims of domestic abuse -- on the same night as the concert. The event is not organized by Osborne House.

"We're just trying to take money out of Chris Brown's hands and give it to Osborne House," Parker said of the event, called Loving Hands Don't Hit. "I used to be a Chris Brown fan, but as a woman with a conscience, I just can't support him anymore."

Stephen Tobin, owner of Drop Entertainment Group and promoter of the three-stop Canadian Energy Rush concert series (Brown is the headline act), identified support for the show in Winnipeg as "nothing short of electric and overwhelmingly positive."

"In no way do we condone Chris Brown's past behaviour or personal endeavours. We are purely focused on his music, incredible talent and overall popularity. I believe it is a very slippery slope when we start trying to censor or dictate who can or cannot perform."

True North Sports and Entertainment, which is housing the show at MTS Centre, is sympathetic to the sensitivities regarding Brown but is not considering cancelling the show. It will let people make their own moral determination on the R&B singer.

"If Chris Brown is legally able to come into the country and play a show, we are into a contract with the promoter that we will honour," offered TNSE spokesman Scott Brown (no relation). "As with any show we put on, people can decide whether or not to support it by purchasing a ticket. And if they choose to express their opinion the night of the show, as long as they do so in a respectful manner and not interfere with the people that have chosen to go to the show, then they're entitled to do that as well."

Beirnes hopes her petition, which is addressed to Energy 106 (the local radio station promoting the show) and Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz, finds similar traction as the one in Halifax. Four corporate sponsors -- including Rogers and Molson Canadian -- have pulled out of the Energy Rush tour.

Beirnes implores those planning to attend the Brown show to reconsider.

"This is a guy who beat his girlfriend to the point where you couldn't recognize her," she said. "It's disgusting that he's coming here and I hope parents think twice about allowing their children to support this guy."

The petition is at www.change.org/energyrushwinnipeg.

adam.wazny@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 17, 2013 A5

History

Updated on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 6:31 AM CDT: Replaces photo

7:07 AM: Corrects spelling of conscience, adds link

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Cheap summer weekends

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A young goose   reaches for long strands of grass Friday night near McGillvary Blvd-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 19 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A red squirrel peaks out of the shade in a tree in East Fort Garry, Sunday, September 9, 2012. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on a report that shows violent crime is decreasing in Winnipeg?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google