Tonight, Chris Brown is scheduled to appear on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah. You may know Brown for his music career, or perhaps for when, in 2009, he plead guilty to felony assault charges after beating then-girlfriend Rihanna.
The Daily Beast reports that some Daily Show staffers are upset that the R&B singer has been booked as a guest, airing their concerns in an "all-hands meeting" yesterday.
It's said that Noah has expressed interest in treating his interview with Brown as an opportunity to increase awareness of domestic violence, a subject the host has painful personal history with: his stepfather brutally abused his mother and eventually shot her in the face (fortunately, she survived). But noble intentions aside, does Noah—who's spent barely two months behind the Daily Show desk—have the interviewing prowess to sensitively address this issue?
Shortly after he was announced as Jon Stewart's replacement in March, a number of old, off-color tweets by Noah came to light. Among these, Rihanna and Chris Brown's violent relationship proved to be a well of comedic inspiration for Noah over the years.
It's possible that The Daily Show might attempt to sidestep controversy altogether by showcasing Chris Brown purely as musical guest, without a conventional interview by Noah, as they recently did with French pop star Christine and the Queens. However Brown's appearance unfolds, tonight will likely represent a defining moment for Trevor Noah's Comedy Central tenure.
We'll be watching.
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.