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Chris Brown show in Guyana canceled, but not over protests - rep

Get more: Chris Brown, Music
11/23/2012 by Corinne Heller
Chris Brown will not perform a scheduled concert in the South American country of Guyana, but denies that the cancellation was spurred by protests over his past assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna.

Meanwhile, the two have reportedly been spending time together in Germany, which is one of the stops on his current tour.

Gig promoter Hits and Jams Entertainment Group announced on its Facebook page on Wednesday that the 23-year-old R&B singer's management had told the company "they do not feel comfortable at this stage allowing the multi award-winning singer to come to Guyana, as they have been following reports in the local and international press about the protests over his Guyana appearance."

However, Brown's rep told E! Online that the "concert was never confirmed" and that "the promoter is being untruthful." The singer himself Tweeted a link to the story on Thursday. (Warning: Tweet contains explicit language)

Brown was arrested after assaulting fellow pop star Rihanna after a pre-Grammys party in 2009. He pleaded guilty to a felony charge was sentenced to five years of probation and six months of community service and was ordered to complete domestic violence courses over the course of a year. He and Rihanna revived their friendship earlier this year.

The Guyana gig was set to take place at Guyana National Stadium on December 26 -- known in many countries as Boxing Day -- and was to be partially funded by the country's government, via tax exemptions, according to local newspaper the Stabroek News. In an October 18 article, the tourism minister was quoted as saying that they aimed to use the concert to try to lure foreigners to travel to Guyana.

Brown's scheduled concert drew many messages of excitement from fans. After Hits and Jams Entertainment employee Kerwin Bollers announced the gig on his Facebook page, more than 100 people "liked" his comment and some two dozen posted messages of excitement, such as "thanks for giving me a reason to come home for Christmas!," "got to be there, can't wait" and "O.M.G!! & OH my freaking god !! am I dreaming !!!"

Soon after the concert announcement was made, the Stabroek News published a letter to the editor penned by women and child rights advocate Vidyaratha Kissoon, who criticized the government's decision to bring Brown to Guyana, citing his assault on Rihanna.

"It appears that the Government of Guyana and the Private Sector and many of the fans of Chris Brown want us to forgive Chris Brown for this mistake," he wrote. "This is what my survivors of domestic violence are told.. forgive the abuser. Many times the survivors do so, over and over and over again and often to their peril. Is there any kind of redemption to be had?"

The Government of Guyana and the Private Sector must donate all the proceeds, and Chris Brown double his fees to the work being done in Guyana against domestic violence," Kissoon said, adding: "And Chris Brown should spend time in jail in Guyana, with the men who have made similar 'mistakes' and brutalized the women they have loved."

The Stabroek News than published another article containing more quotes of opposition from women's rights activists over Brown's scheduled concert.

"We can't erase the fact that he was punished for intimate partner violence," Women & Gender Equality Commission member, domestic violence survivor and social worker Nicole Cole told the newspaper, adding that he should be allowed to perform only if the gig's proceeds are used to set up a revolving compensation fund for victims of domestic violence.

Sukree Boodram, of the group Caribbean American Domestic Violence Awareness (CADVA) and a survivor of domestic violence told the Stabroek News: "As the grim situation on domestic violence has become a staple part of Guyana's everyday life and landscape, I believe that having a known abuser perform, gives credit to him and sends an unspoken message that it is okay to beat up on your wife or girlfriend and still stay popular and famous."

An activist from the local Red Thread Women's Development Organization, Karen De Souza, also voiced criticism over the plan to use taxpayer's money to fund the concert and told the outlet: "Are we promoting that an abuser can have a comeback? He can have a positive message for men against domestic violence. We can't support gender-based violence. But if it [Brown's visit] is not making a positive statement against gender-based violence then it is a waste of time and money."

Several people in Europe had also protested Brown in recent months -- passive-aggressively.

The singer had performed in Sweden on November 19 (watch a fan-made video). More than a week earlier, protesters put up altered promotional posters that contained a photo of Rihanna's battered face, taken just after the assault and posted by TMZ, around Stockholm, according to the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD). The outlet's columnist Kristin Lundell expressed her "disgust" over the singer's visit due to the assault case and added that she hopes no newspaper will review his concert.

Also, in September, several copies of Brown's new album "Fortune" in at least one HMV record store in London were plastered with yellow and black stickers that read: "Warning: Do not buy this album! This man beats woman," as seen in a photo posted by AVClub.com. It is believed anti-domestic violence activists stuck them there.

Brown is meanwhile performing in Stuttgart, Germany on Friday, November 23, and will later head to European countries such as Poland, Switzerland, Ireland and France, as well as South Africa, as he continues his winter tour.

He and Rihanna have appeared to put the assault case behind them. She told Oprah Winfrey on an episode of "Oprah's Next Chapter" that aired in August that she "still loves" Brown, that she thinks he was the love of her life and that they are "very, very close friends."

Rihanna has also reportedly been spending time with Brown in recent weeks. She even visited him on Thanksgiving in Berlin, Germany, where he had performed a concert, according to E! Online, which posted a paparazzi of what appeared to be both singers, saying it was taken at Adagio nightclub. The two have not commented.

Rihanna, who recently brought a group of journalists along with her on tour and flew them on her private plane, Tweeted on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving: "All alone in my big ole jet!!! See u soon lover."

Brown and Rihann had collaborated on two songs earlier this year and kissed publicly at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards in September. In early October, Brown confirmed that he and his girlfriend Karrueche Tran had broken up and cited his "friendship" with ex-girlfriend Rihanna as part of the reason.

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