Brown decided to send his ex a birthday greeting via Instagram earlier today. He shared a photo of a young Rihanna, simply captioning it: "HAPPY BIRTHDAY @badgalriri."
Not everyone thought it was a particularly appropriate gesture, however, and droves of Riri supporters have taken to Twitter to voice their disapproval.
Back in 2009, Brown infamously assaulted his then-girlfriend Rihanna. Images of her injuries later went viral, and Rihanna fans and feminists around the world reacted with calls to boycott Brown's music.
Following a brief reunion in 2012, Brown and Rihanna officially broke up in 2013. In 2015, Rihanna told Vanity Fair: "I don't hate him. I will care about him until the day I die. We're not friends, but it's not like we're enemies. We don't have much of a relationship now."
See how fans have reacted to Brown's public display of birthday affection below.
Chris Brown fans really want us to forgive his woman beating ass. Domestic abuse ISNT a mistake it's a CONSCIOUS choice. Rihanna going back to him didn't excuse his behavior as most domestic abuse victims do it continuously. He was cancelled after that & always will be.— cici 💞 (@melaninporn) February 12, 2018
omg you know what? I agree! how cute😭 Rihanna's physically abusive ex boyfriend😍💗 wished her a happy birthday😮😤👏🏾 SO CUTE pic.twitter.com/2wfL7odLYW— ••• (@sweetdiviine) February 20, 2018
Chris Brown is so annoying. Leave Rihanna alone already. She doesn't acknowledge you and she's not going to. Creepy stalker ass.— #lovelies (@dusktillmani) February 20, 2018
Chris Brown wished Rihanna happy birthday on insta pic.twitter.com/BHZlve3D43— 𝙈𝙖𝙩𝙩 ⛓ (@witnessmatt) February 20, 2018
Chris Brown wishing Rihanna happy birthday is disgusting. Abusive twat.— Pheesha (@Phelicia_C) February 20, 2018
did chris brown really post an instagram for rihanna's birthday like pic.twitter.com/jzwB1M6Orj— Katy🌞 (@Ktmahonx) February 20, 2018
i searched "chris brown rihanna" and it's almost all people defending him and saying they think it's sweet that he told her happy birthday and that everyone should get over it pic.twitter.com/2y0TxUZxgX— ethan (@ethanshumjr) February 20, 2018
Brown's fans also stepped up, however, defending the gesture.
Y'all do know Chris Brown and Rihanna are friends right 💀 it wouldn't be any different if this was anyone else get over it. It's an innocent ass happy birthday post. Y'all do the most over nothing.— oct. 31 💔🌕 (@Poppinforcb) February 20, 2018
I don't care, Chris Brown wishing Rihanna a happy birthday is cute af. Hate on me all you want pic.twitter.com/E8qWcsQcI6— Hannah (@feeling_sober) February 20, 2018
Of course, Riri has also received many other less controversial birthday messages today. See some of those below.
Happy Birthday @Rihanna— Ciara (@ciara) February 20, 2018
Remembering the 1st time we met. It's been cool to see you kill it! Keep on soaring ma! 💃🏽🎂😎
why are schools open today like its not rihanna birthday— Demetrius D. Harmon (@meechonmars) February 20, 2018