I can accept that for some people, operating in the professional world means sometimes setting aside a personal dislike for something or someone, so I can see how Wilhelmina Models could be willing to represent Chris Brown. That doesn't mean I think it's okay that they signed him, or that in an upcoming installment of this story, he might get an endorsement deal.
I'm surprised Wilhelmina would jeopardize its reputation by working with someone most famous for assaulting a woman. In 2009, Brown was convicted of a felony for assault, and photos of Rihanna's bruised and beaten face were all over the Internet. That's what he's best known for. I'm sorry, but to my mind, there's no way to come back after something like that — to "rebrand" — and there shouldn't be. He did not say something mean about someone, he did not make a gaffe: he brutalized someone. Domestic violence isn't simply a mistake or a slip-up, it's serious and dangerous and awful and deeply messed up. I can't overstate it.
I'm maybe less outraged by Wilhelmina's willingness to sign him because I know that for many people, a buck is a buck (and it's not like I neccessarily expect modeling agents to be moral agents, too — although that would be super great), but I'm horrified to know that someone thinks they can make a buck on Chris Brown. That he's marketable. How do we get a new market?
Image via WENN