Another Rihanna music video and another episode of controversy!
Rihanna’s recently-released ‘Man Down’ music video, in which she is depicted as a rape victim who finds her rapist and murders him in front of everyone, is the subject of some major criticism from the Parents Television Council (PTC).
The video has been condemned by the PTC, which claims that the violence-filled clip shows RiRi in an “implied rape scene with a man whom she later guns down in an act of premeditated murder.”
The PTC along with a few other entertainment industry watchdogs released a statement after the controversial video’s release, condemning the gory contents of the clip and claiming that the video encourages young females to opt for violent methods to get justice.
Industry Ears co-founder Paul Porter branded the ‘Man Down’ video as ‘inexcusable, shock-only’ and accused the Barbadian singer of employing shoot-and-kill theme.
While the visuals are deemed violent, the lyrics are no different either. With lines like: “I didn’t mean to end his life/ I know it wasn’t right … I took his heart when/ I pulled out that gun … Oh mama, mama, mama/ I just shot a man down/ In central station/ In front of a big ol’ crowd,” Rihanna hasn’t given these activists much choice but to register their disapproval.
The PTC criticized Rihanna – a domestic violence sufferer herself, for sending wrong message to the youth. The council’s Melissa Hanson believes that instead of advising young rape victims to find help, Rihanna is shown as a vengeance-filled murderer in the video-a depiction which according to them, is totally wrong.
Team-Rihanna declined to comment at the intense backlash, but prior to the song’s release, the singer herself had revealed on Twitter that her upcoming song would have a very powerful message for girls like her, referring to her 2009 incident with former boyfriend Chris Brown.
‘Man Down’ video director Anthony Mandler had been in an interview with MTV News in May, where he had admitted that Rihanna had given her full freedom to test the clip’s aggression. “We shot the video last month in Jamaica, and it’s my favorite song she’s ever recorded, so I was really excited to get involved. And it’s just one of those songs that demands a strong narrative and visual, and let’s just say, she let me go all the way. So I think you can expect something that’s dramatic and shocking and intense and emotional and uplifting and enlightening,” Mandler had said back then.
All the organizations have unanimously demanded for BET to take down the ‘Man Down’ video with immediate effect, however, BET has yet to reveal its stance over the subject.
Irrespective of the negative reaction that has been thrown her way, RiRi remains unbothered and is still promoting her message. Earlier in the week, she tweeted on her Twitter account: “Young girls/women all over the world … we are a lot of things! We’re strong innocent fun flirtatious vulnerable, and sometimes our innocence can cause us to be naive! We always think it could NEVER be us, but in reality, it can happen to ANY of us! So ladies be careful and #listentoyomama! I love you and I care!”
This is not the first time when Rihanna’s video has been the target of criticism. Earlier this year, the Umbrella-singer released the ‘S&M’ video, which was banned in several countries due to its racy content. While several plagiarism claims were also leveled against it.Anthony Mandler, Industry Ears, Parents TV Council, Paul Porter