June 28, 2014


Why BET Invited Chris Brown Back To The BET Awards

Mike Windle/Getty Images for BET
Mike Windle/Getty Images for BET

Everyone deserves a second chance, even a troubled pop star with a hugely controversial, public past--or at least that's how BET feels about Chris Brown.

The network refrained from involving Brown in the Michael Jackson tribute that took place at the 2009 BET Awards due to the scandal surrounding Brown and his assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna earlier that year at the Grammys. Brown has since returned to the BET Awards, but given his recent incarceration for violating the terms of his parole and recent release, whether or not his chair at the BETs would remain empty in 2014 was still a question up for debate until now. In an interview with Billboard, Debra Lee, the CEO of BET, opened up about the network's decision to include Brown in the 2014 BET Awards, which air tomorrow night, June 29.

"People deserve a second chance," Lee tells Billboard. "After he had done his service and his time, we, as a team, decided it’s OK to have Chris back, and let’s see how the audience feels ... I try to make the best decisions for my audience, and everybody may not agree, but I look at things from all sides. It gets back to fairness and justice. I felt that first year, it would have been the wrong signal to young girls if we allowed him back so quickly. A year later, it felt like he had paid his dues. It’s a case-by-case thing; you can’t make across-the-board rules about it. It’s one thing to give someone a platform, it’s another to give an award for being a great person. We want people to change and do better, and hopefully Chris Brown is at that point now."

It appears that BET isn't alone when it comes to believing in the potential of Chris Brown. Brown's got multiple collaborations in the works, and he's hinted at various tracks with Ariana GrandeJennifer Lopez and Usher and Rick Ross

Brown took home the BET Award for Best Male R&B Artist in 2012; he's nominated for the same title in 2014, alongside John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams and August Alsina. Brown's "Fine China" has also scored him two additional nominations, for Video of the Year and Video Director of the Year.