The Royalty singer played a rapper named Rich Youngsta, who was recruited by Dre’s (Anthony Anderson) advertising firm to collaborate on a campaign, The Washington Post reports. It might seem like an innocuous move to enlist an R&B star to play a rapper on a sitcom for a total of 5 minutes, but when you’re Chris Brown, controversy inevitably follows.
The ultimate consensus for opposing the “Grass Ain’t Greener” singer’s appearance on the program was that it conflicts with the smart social commentary that Black-ish often presents. The disapproval stems from Brown’s turbulent history with the law, drugs, and domestic violence. A recent investigative feature on Billboard details the Grammy-award-winning artist’s alleged struggle with substance abuse and violence. After the story was released, Brown took to Instagram to speak about his alleged drug addiction, and affirmed he is indeed doing fine.
“I’m tired of reading about some sh*t soon as I’ve got something popping,” he said in Billboard. “Soon as I want to promote a tour, a party, a f**king album, anything, y’all bring up something.”
WHYYYYYYYYYYYY DID YOU CAST CHRIS BROWN ?!?!?! #blackish
— C. 🌸 (@_HalfOfMe) March 30, 2017
@black_ishABC Nope. I usually watch with my family but not tomorrow.
— Mignon (@miggypeace) March 28, 2017
— Special K® (@mskambam) March 23, 2017
DID THIS NIGGA REALLY TURN HER WHITE pic.twitter.com/a6gg0IyU9e
— bru. (@Iaissas) March 30, 2017
On the show, Dre’s colleagues loved the ad, while his wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), and mother, Ruby (Jenifer Lewis), were concerned that the campaign stereotyped black people. The advertisement showcases Rich Youngsta pouring a sparkling drink onto a seemingly perturbed black woman, only to then enlist a more lively white woman.
The network reportedly declined to comment despite the stir Brown’s appearance caused. But even with the episode’s surrounding controversy, some fans were still happy to see the 27-year-old on the program and defended him against criticism.
Chris Brown on #blackish is actually good
— janesha (@jajones171) March 30, 2017
— Tim Broncheau (@TimBee13) March 30, 2017
Yall mad chris brown was on #blackish but yall dont mind tuning in every episode to watch terrence howard who has a past of DV too.
— ? Privacy ? (@avibebreezy) March 30, 2017