When a photograph of Chris Brown's latest album adorned with a sticker that read "WARNING: Do Not Buy This Album! This Man Beats Women" made its way around the internet last week, many an internet user chuckled at the prankster's attempt at saying what many were thinking.
In a statement sent to HuffPost Entertainment, HMV says it was not behind the sticker. "Someone went into one of our stores and put the stickers on," HMV representative Gennaro Castaldo told The Huffington Post in a statement. "We spotted and removed them quickly but before we could do so the person circulated a photo to media."
But in a recent twist, HMV says the sticker may have helped promote Fortune, Brown's album. A representative of the company tells NME: "I guess they got their point across pretty effectively – with widespread coverage around the world, though, by the same token, quite a few more people now know there's a new Chris Brown album out."
As for who slapped on the stickers in the first place? No one knows for sure, but NME notes that the Cambridge University Student Union Women's Campaign was first to tweet a photo of the altered albums.
This is hardly the first time Brown -- who physically assaulted Rihanna in 2009 -- has faced such criticisms. From our earlier reporting:
In July, music critics lambasted Brown for his history of violence after "Fortune"'s release, with music journalist Chloe Papas calling it a "repugnant record that we can only hope will be [the singer's] last."
In her review, dubbed by some as "best album review you will ever read," Papas argued that it would be categorically unreasonable for someone to buy Brown's album:
"Regardless of whether Chris Brown has any musical talent (he doesn't) or whether this album is any good (it isn't), the man recently brutally assaulted a woman, and is still regularly invited back to award shows and worshipped by 'Breezy' fans worldwide. Which is, frankly, disgusting. And for those of you out there saying you need to separate the music and the man: screw you, don't encourage his actions. Final words: don't buy this album."
Check out the stickers below. Who do you think the sticker benefitted more: anti-domestic violence efforts or Chris Brown?