Nick Cannon has defended his decision to cast Chris Brown in his new basketball movie despite his domestic violence conviction.
Chris, 28, is to star in Nick’s forthcoming film, She Ball, which follows a women’s basketball league – but the casting has caused controversy due to his 2009 conviction for assaulting his then girlfriend Rihanna.
However, the TV host turned filmmaker, who will also star in the movie, has defended the R&B musician, claiming he’s a victim of double standards as white stars accused of domestic violence, like the actor Sean Penn, do not receive the same attention.
“What about Sean Penn?” Nick, 37, told TMZ.com when asked about his decision to cast Chris. “They ever hate on his past and the movies he did?”
He then went say African–Americans were victims of double standards and that the singer’s critics want “to turn a black man into a monster anytime they can”.
Sean, 57, has long faced accusations that he physically abused Madonna, 59, during their four-year marriage in the 1980s, but both he and the True Blue singer have denied the allegations.
In 2015, the Mystic River star sued the director Lee Daniels after he compared the allegations against the actor to domestic violence allegations against Terrence Howard. He dropped his legal complaint after Lee retracted his statement.
Chris will star alongside Cedric the Entertainer, Evan Ross, Rebecca De Mornay, and Faizon Love in She Ball, which centers on Avery Watts, who teams up with the members of a women’s basketball league to save a community centre in Inglewood, Los Angeles.
The casting provoked anger on Twitter, with one user going by the handle @AmberKCCO, writing, “Nick Cannon obviously didn’t think this through; women empowerment film yet casting a woman beater? lol (laugh out loud) k…”
Others also claimed the Loyal singer’s casting in a story about inspiring women was inappropriate due to his conviction.