Chris Brown may have lost endorsement deals for Wrigley's gum and the Milk campaign following his arrest in the alleged beating of girlfriend Rihanna. But the children's network Nickelodeon is standing by him.
Despite growing outrage on parent blogs and entertainment Web sites and an online petition to have Brown removed from contention, his name will remain on the ballot for the popular Kids' Choice Awards, which airs March 28 on Nickelodeon.
"Like all our KCA nominees, Chris Brown was nominated by kids several months ago based on his work as a performer, and the kids who vote will ultimately decide who wins in the category," Nickelodeon said in a statement sent to ABCNews.com.
The show is geared toward kids ages 6 to 14. Kids can vote up until the show's airdate. This year's vote is expected to top last year's of 89 million, the network's publicist Marianne Romano said.
Romano said she does not know whether Brown will attend the show, where the winners are routinely covered in green slime. But Brown was apparently lobbying for votes. According to Us Weekly, the day Brown was charged with two felonies, he posted a MySpace blog asking fans to vote for him. "Vote for Chris on the Kids' Choice Awards 2009, Thank you for your support," it read.
Psychologist Cara Gardenswartz, an expert for Momlogic.com, questioned Nickelodeon's decision to keep Brown on the ballot.
"Nickelodeon is an adult-run network that is saying we are letting the kids decide. They are saying we don't need adults to step in and say that this is inappropriate," Gardenswartz said. "It's setting a horrible precedent and it's damaging. Kids can't differentiate between (Brown's) actions and his songs."
Brown, who faces felony charges for battery and making criminal threats that would result in death, is up for two Kids' Choice Awards: favorite male singer and favorite song for "Kiss Kiss."
Rihanna, who has reportedly reunited with Brown, is also up for two awards, favorite female singer and favorite song for "Don't Stop the Music."
A petition posted on the twittermoms.com Web site that has already garnered 70 signatures asks that both performers be removed from the Kids' Choice ballot -- Brown because of the charges he's facing and Rihanna because she "refused a no-contact order and plans to continue the relationship in spite of a violent attack by Brown."
"To say that either of these people [is] setting a suitable example to be held up as 'winners' is preposterous," the petition reads.
Oprah Winfrey also had stern words for Rihanna.
"You need somebody to tell you the truth in this moment. And the truth is, guys, both Chris Brown and Rihanna, if I were your friend, I would call you up and I would say, 'Give it some time, get yourself some counseling, take care of yourself, heal yourself first,'" the talk show queen said during a roundtable discussion on her talk show Friday.
"And also, 'love doesn't hurt.' I've been saying this to women for years -- love doesn't hurt," she said. "And if a man hits you once, he will hit you again. He will hit you again. I don't care what his plea is, he will hit you again."
According to The Associated Press, Winfrey will dedicate her show Thursday to the subject of dating violence.