Duck & Cover: Upcoming Chris Brown Disaster

Thanks to Anderson Cooper’s Ridiculist spot for almost single handedly blowing my brain apart today. I’m not even sure where to start with this little gem of knowledge. But apparently Chris Brown is going to be in a movie soon. A romantic comedy about relationships. Based on a book that’s supposed to show women how men think and what they want in a relationship.

Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man is the book the movie is based on. In a short blurb from poptopictv, I get the feeling that the movie is basically a really long commercial for the book. Here’s the plot summary: ” The film adaptation, titled “Think Like a Man,” will center on four friends who have their love lives shaken up when the women they are pursuing buy Steve Harvey’s book and start considering his advice.”


Will there be much plot beyond that?

It looks like this movie will give out a double message:

1) Women need to buy this book in order to have a great romantic life.

2) Men, if your women buy this book, your whole life will go to ^&#!

Seems like a great recipe for improving hetero, gender normative relations between cisgender men and women. I snark sarcastically, of course. But there lies the fault of a lot of these relationship “help” books. Cultural mythos like “men and women just can’t talk to each other” or “women secretly have all the relationship power and need to learn how to use it”, are perpetuated and exaggerated whenever they are written down. Publishing these books appears to be a public service, but is almost entirely about the money. After all, if self help writers knew enough of the right answers, wouldn’t their lives have come together from practicing what they write about instead of selling you the book? (Or in this case, getting you to come watch the commercial movie?)

The main reason I’m furious about Brown being cast is that it’s the big screen incarnation of the perpetual mistreatment and degrading of black women that runs like blood through this country, both in the black and mainstream white communities. In casting him for any part in a movie about healthy relationships, the people putting it together have shown by their actions that they don’t care about being on message or creating the right image. In my opinion (and I’m a white guy, so I’m not sure how much my opinion matters in this situation), casting CB in this movie should function as a red flag to women everywhere that this movie is not going to be a safe space for discussing relationships. At all. But especially not for black women.

And that pisses me off. Seriously.

But even stranger than all of this is something Steve Harvey said in an appearance on Oprah in 2009. Talking about his book, the one this upcoming movie is being based on, Harvey talked about one failure he sees standing in women’s way in dating:

“Harvey says men are like fishermen — but women are actually the ones looking for a good catch. You won’t be able to find one, though, until you up your standards. ”

So Steve Harvey believes that women need to up their standards and hold out for really good men. But he’s excited to add Chris Brown to the cast for this movie.

Sometimes the stupidity makes my brain freeze worse than a slushie drink.