HALIFAX - In light of the controversy surrounding Chris Brown as the Energy Rush headliner this summer, Mayor Mike Savage said there should be a review of how HRM facilities book entertainers.
Savage said he was disappointed when he heard Brown, who was convicted of assaulting Rihanna in 2009, would be performing at the August music festival.
“His background is awful really, and I think to have him performing here sends a very poor signal to … young fans,” Savage said Monday.
The mayor said while he doesn’t like it, and would’ve preferred to know about the decision in advance, a contract has already been signed between the promoter, Alderney Landing, and Brown himself.
“We have to do a review of how our facilities are booking contracts,” Savage said, adding he would have exerted his influence over the decision if he was in a position to do so.
“I don’t think it’s something we can stop,” he added.
Savage said although he let the promoter know that he was “not impressed” by the move, the mayor added he doesn’t want to dictate who people can and can’t listen to.
The Avalon Sexual Assault Centre said Monday that Brown should not be allowed to perform since HRM and Nova Scotia have a “critical problem” with sexualized violence.
“By inviting Chris Brown … to perform here sends a message that if a person is talented, his/her past actions do not matter,” said the release.
Mayor Savage said he thinks it’s a “good thing” people are expressing their concern, and the backlash has been heightened “because domestic abuse is a hugely important issue.”
“At the end of the day, people will have to decide if they want to go and see Chris Brown. I won’t be there,” Savage said.