Matthew Belloni, a former Hollywood Reporter editor and current author at Puck News, says that he knows the real reason why Chris Brown’s AMA Tribute performance for Michael Jackson was canceled.
Belloni stated in an article that Chris and AMA producers had been in cahoots for weeks working on the planned performance, which would have given Chris a chance to redeem himself after complaining he had been “shadow-banned” in Hollywood. But once Belloni learned about it, he decided to take action.
Belloni said in an article that he contacted the higher-ups at Disney and ABC, explaining how he thought that the “prospect of a convicted domestic abuser feting an alleged child molester” wasn’t a good look. He said that the executives he spoke with weren’t even aware that Chris was set to perform the tribute.
According to Belloni, the execs agreed with his stance and had the whole thing shut down immediately. The producers were allegedly furious because they knew they would receive a ton of backlash for the decision.
The producers reportedly offered Chris an opportunity to still perform but without doing the tribute because it would be too “radioactive.” However, Chris seemingly wasn’t interested and chose to share the rehearsal footage on his Instagram instead.
Chris ended up being a complete no-show at the AMAs. Kelly Rowland accepted his award for Favorite R&B Male Artist on his behalf.
Ciara was also supposed to perform with Chris Brown
Ciara was set to accompany Chris in the tribute, but because it was canceled, so was her performance. Like Chris, she posted video footage of her rehearsals on Instagram.
In the caption, Ciara said, “MJ thank you for the inspiration you’ve given us all! Thriller 40th Anniversary. @ChrisBrownOfficial you’re a rare breed of this generation. Always fun to rock with you.”
The black and white footage starts off with both Ciara and Chris performing Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The scene then changes to Ciara dancing alone to Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean.
Dick Clark Productions speaks out but doesn’t say much
A spokesperson for Dick Clark Productions has released a statement on the tribute cancellation. The statement says that the cancellation was more about creative direction and had nothing to do with Chris.
The statement reads, “Live shows change all the time, it’s the nature of this business; unfortunately, this element of the AMAs didn’t come together as we couldn’t align on the performance, to no fault of Chris Brown.”
It’s safe to say that Chris’s performance would likely have brought the ceremony’s views up. In his Instagram Story, Chris showed that his video had 11.7 million views while the AMAs had only 3.3 million views.