Earlier this week, Chris Brown was accused of rape by an anonymous French woman. Immediately after the allegations were made, support for the R&B star began flooding in from some of the biggest names in the music industry despite his history of alleged violent abuse.
Some of the support came in the form of quick Instagram comments that cemented the industry's flippant disbelief of survivors.
"No one can touch you ur the GOAT," Justin Bieber commented on one of Brown's latest Instagram posts.
"Stay Focused King," Nick Cannon commented on the same post.
However, some artists also shared complex conspiracy theories that boil down to a series of sexual violence myths.
Rapper T.I. shared a photo on Instagram that celebrated Chris Brown's recent career success ("Chris Brown signs new deal and is the youngest artist to own his master recordings," the photo recapped) with the caption: "First this... Then RAPE allegations?"
Rapper Joyner Lucas also jumped to Chris Brown defense with the deranged notion that men are accused of rape so someone *anonymous* can... make money for the illuminati, get famous or ruin a legacy just because they feel like it.
"@chrisbrownofficial ain't rape nobody," he wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post. "Any and every way someone gets the opportunity to create a story and ruin [his] legacy, they take it."
Lucas added, "Anybody who actually thinks Breezy needs to take some ***** got issues. Trust me when I say it doesn’t matter what city, state, country, or continent [he] goes to, he can literally pick like a flower from a garden."
"I’m no conspiracy theorist but no bullshit, im [sic] really starting to believe that TV networks are paying ******* to false claim allegations just so they can turn it into a documentary," he said.
There is (obviously) a long history of men of color being falsely accused of crimes and facing police brutality for simply existing. There is also a long history of women being disbelieved, and women of color especially struggling to receive justice for the violence they face. The Surviving R. Kelly documentary series — which was mocked in Lucas' support of Chris Brown – was made possible by decades of activism by women of color, and was celebrated as an opportunity for black girls to finally be heard.
While Brown has not faced any criminal charges in the ongoing investigation and is now suing his accuser for defamation, the immediate disbelief of his abuser by powerful, powerful people – and conspiracy theories around his accusation — do a major disservice to survivors of sexual violence. It's this kind of blind support that protected R. Kelly for so long. And it's this kind of thinking that continues to build and solidify the careers of the next generation of artists who abuse women — just take a look at the massive success of the late XXXtentacion (who allegedly brutally abused his pregnant ex-girlfriend and is still posthumously revered by artists like Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar) and Tekashi 6ix9ine (who's been on trial for sexual misconduct involving minors and racketeering, and still works with the likes of Nicki Minaj).