Chris Brown ‘clearly irked’ as he and Rihanna are mocked at Oscars
By Bill Zwecker February 26, 2013 7:33PM
An Alternative Look At The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Updated: February 26, 2013 8:21PM
At first Chris Brown appeared to shrug off Seth MacFarlane’s Academy Awards joke about him Sunday, but a source with the R&B star at Elton John’s annual Oscars party reports Brown later “was clearly irked” about the jab heard around the world.
A number of the people around him both booed the TV screens and made a point of letting the singer know they were unhappy about the jab, my source said, adding, “Chris took the high road with everyone after that, but it was clear he was pissed.”
For those who missed it, MacFarlane was discussing Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” when he quipped, “This is the story of a man fighting to back his woman, who’s been subjected to unthinkable violence. Or, as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie.”
Reportedly Rihanna, who was watching elsewhere, had the same reaction as a top Hollywood producer who herself watched the awards from the Vanity Fair party. “Domestic abuse is one of those things that simply should never be a topic for joking about,” said the longtime film studio insider. “Additionally, it’s unfair to Chris, who has made such a good effort to learn from his terrible mistake and correct the character defects that led to him losing control.”
According to a source close to Rihanna, the superstar not only was upset about the MacFarlane crack, she immediately reached out to Brown and called him to commiserate.
By all indications, Brown and Rihanna are continuing to enjoy the renewal of their long-ruptured relationship. They recently vacationed in Hawaii, and Brown told the London Daily Mirror she has forgiven him after a lot of “serious making up.”
While Brown knows that some Rihanna fans will never forgive him, he told the Mirror, “People attack me and criticize me, it happens all the time. But they don’t know me and they don’t know us. It doesn’t bother me any more. Other people can judge us, but they don’t know anything.”
† Meanwhile, TMZ reports Rihanna has received a restraining order against Steveland Barrow, an obsessed fan who was arrested Thursday after breaking into the home of one of her neighbors, believing it was Rihanna’s house. He told the police he was invited to stay there and reportedly slept in a bed he thought was Rihanna’s.
OSCAR BUZZ: With MacFarlane saying he has no intention of hosting the Academy Awards again, speculation has started about possible successors for next year. While Tina Fey has said she would never take the Oscars job, her stellar hosting gig with Amy Poehler at the Golden Globes this year has many pushing for that dynamic duo. Others being mentioned: late-night hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon, and Neil Patrick Harris — who has been a great host of the Tonys and Emmys.
STAR TRACKING: Sounds like Kanye West is still irked that President Obama called him a “jackass” after the prez’s fellow Chicagoan interrupted Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech at the 2009 Video Music Awards. “I don’t give a [expletive] what the president’s got to say,” the rapper yelled during a London concert Saturday.
West’s further on-stage rant — “I hate business people. Since when was making art about getting rich?” — raised eyebrows on a bunch of music industry execs.
One told this column, “I guess that means Kanye is going to give all his money to charity? … Yeah, right!”
† After photos surfaced of Blake Lively and husband Ryan Reynolds happily holding babies in the pediatric unit of a Canadian hospital, friends of the couple are joking that the celebrity magazines now will be scrambling to put out stories that the newlyweds are expecting. Reynolds is in Ontario currently filming “Queen of the Night.”
† Congrats to Pete Holmes, the former Chicago stand-up comic and regular at the iO and Playground theaters, just tapped to host a late-night comedy series for Conan O’Brien’s production company that will air after Coco’s TBS show Mondays through Thursdays. An initial four-week run begins this fall. Holmes should sound familiar: He provides the voice for that snarky baby in the E*Trade TV commercials.
† Before Olympic gold medalist Dorothy Hamill shows up on the new season of “Dancing With the Stars,” we can catch her in our area March 8 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont — gracing the “Stars on Ice” show.
SPECIAL EVENT: Secretary of State Jesse White is hosting a reception at noon Thursday on the concourse level of the Thompson Center in the Loop, celebrating African-American Heritage Month by recognizing the contributions of community activists and leaders.
It will definitely be a “family affair” as the father-daughter broadcasters Dan Jiggetts of Comcast Sports/WFLD-Channel 32 and Lauren Jiggetts of WMAQ-Channel 5 co-host the event. The program will focus on a longtime White cause — organ and tissue donor awareness — and honorees will include Connie Payton, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Jack Lynch of Gift of Hope Organ/Tissue Donor Network and Hyde Park Academy’s Richard Blackmon.
FAITH & BEGORRAH: Sun-Times columnist and WMAQ-Channel 5 and WMAQ-Channel 11 mainstay Carol Marin will be the guest narrator for Old St. Pat’s Church’s 17th annual “Siamsa na nGael” program, entitled “Voices for Freedom” — scheduled for March 11 at Chicago Symphony Center.
The evening centers on a story beginning with abolitionist and civil rights pioneer Frederick Douglass and is linked to the Irish freedom hero Daniel O’Connell and the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
The event also will feature performances by Rodrick Dixon, Alfreda Burke, Catherine O’Connell, the Trinity Irish Dancers, the Soul Children of Chicago Choir, the Metropolis Symphony Orchestra and the Old St. Patrick’s Concert Choir.