Chris Brown: Lack of Understanding of Cross-Cultural Communication

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Being a celebrity often places one into unwanted spotlight. One needs to be extra careful of how he/she conducts herself especially posting on social networks. An example of someone who got himself into hot soup is Chris Brown, who on October 31st, 2012 - the pagan holiday, “Halloween”, posted a controversial photo on Instagram (also linked to his Facebook). In the photo, Brown, donning "white face" makeup, a long beard, turban and traditional dishdasha or thobe (the ankle-length garment worn by men in Islamic cultures), waves a gun, with ammo strapped across his chest (US Weekly). The photo is accompanied with the caption “Ain’t nobody f***-ing with my cliq!” Bearing in mind, this incident was just fresh after his recent scandal of abuse of his girlfriend, Rihanna, this was certainly an insensitive move. All communication has a consequence, (Brislin, 2008) and Chris Brown certainly found himself condemned for his action. A photo speaks a thousand words, and in this case, it spoke volumes. Sparking controversy, especially amongst his Middle Eastern fans, many have called him “culturally offensive”. It is important to treat all nations and religions with respect and delicacy, especially when the relationship between the two countries has been a rocky one (case in point here: The United States and the Middle East). Chris Brown committed a serious breach and lack of understanding of cross-cultural communication.

Deep structure – religion:
Although Brown’s intention may not have been to offend, he failed to consider the tense friction that U.S has with the Middle East. The relationship between the two countries is extremely tense, especially amidst the war on Iraq. What’s an important element to this is in also a recent September attack in Libya on a U.S. consulate, which stemmed from religious uproar over an anti-Islamic film. His costume doesn’t help the blatant stereotype about Muslims and the Middle Eastern people, and their involvement of...
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