‘Daily Show’ Staff Split on Chris Brown Interview

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Chris Brown is set to appear on The Daily Show tomorrow evening, and that's caused some controversy among the Comedy Central show's staff.

Six years ago, Brown was convicted of felony assault against his then-girlfriend Rihanna. He was sentenced to five years' probation and six months of community service—punishments that were considered too weak by several domestic abuse organizations. Since then, his public image rehabilitation has been marred by violence outbursts, a probation violation, and questionable on-stage decisions.

Several Daily Show staffers told The Daily Beast that Brown's interview booking has become a cause for concern around the office. But while many staffers disapprove of the booking decision, host Trevor Noah allegedly hopes to use the interview to bring light to domestic abuse issues. Our sources confirmed that Noah brought up such a possibility during an all-hands meeting on Monday afternoon.

Noah's own ex-stepfather violently abused his mother, at one point shooting her in the face and threatening to kill the young comedian.

Despite that personal history, however, some feel Noah might not be well-equipped to conduct a tough interview with Brown on domestic violence, considering his slew of jokes in poor taste on the subject. "Chris Brown's FAME album is no#1 on iTunes," Noah tweeted four years ago. "Rihanna is cancelling shows due to poor sales. I guess he beat her again." At another time, he joked: "I woke up and my face was puffy and swollen- I looked like I was in the car with chris brown."

—Andrew Kirell